Hello Internet. It’s me Scooter. I’m writing this from my bedroom here on Earth, and today I’m bringing you my review of the new Hybrid Sheep Organizer album Body Erased Through Sonic Redemtion. Hybrid Sheep Organizer is a band that lives on my planet, and they play music in the city of Boise, ID. This record was recorded by Alex Kent, Lauren Koenen, Matt Makkai, Wheeler Bills, and River Merrill.
The record opens up with a long instrumental track titled “Mommy Loves You.” It’s a perfect opener to this record and it sets the tone for the album. It opens up with a melancholy piano riff that repeats for a few measures, and then it goes into an experimental/ambient section that is reminiscent of old Pink Floyd records. It evokes a feeling of a sort of cosmic nihilism that I can’t quite explain. I also get the feeling that this track would be perfect for a creepy stop motion video. You know, one of those videos from the “weird side of YouTube.” But I digress. I recommend listening to this track in a dark room while meditating or something. This song is more of a journey than it is a song. If you haven’t experienced complete ego death by the end of the song, you aren’t listening to it correctly. After the experimental break in the song, the piano riff comes back in and lulls to a stop right before going to the next song.
The second song on the album “Waxing/Waning” is a psychedelic folk song that picks up right where the last song left off. The effect on the vocals on this song is very eerie, and it sounds really cool especially on the falsetto notes that ring out. The lyrics are very poetic and fit with the mood of the song really well. The instrumentation is very well done on this song. I am super impressed with the arrangements that they put together on this record. At times simple, yet very effective.
The track “Perfect Man! Without Sin!” sounds like a bad trip I once had. The track is only a minute or so long, and it is very spooky with parts cutting out and repeating. I feel like this could be the soundtrack to my psychotic break. Once again this is another song that I think would work really well in a movie or short film. The music evokes so many different thoughts/emotions for an instrumental track, clocking in at only a minute and 53 seconds.
The tracks 4 and 5 are titled “Inhale(Breathe In)” and “Exhale(Breathe Out).” The former of the two has a long breakdown where the lines “Every day. Every single day” are repeated over a toy piano melody. It is from the perspective of a patient/person being talked through breathing exercises, and the music intensifies as it goes on until the point where it breaks. The only way I know how to describe the end of this song is “ambient skull fuck.” Right after this ends, they go into the acoustic track “Exhale(Breathe Out)” and the soothing guitar/vocals feels like a complete 180 after the last song. This track is more of a straightforward Indie-Rock song, but the experimental aspects of HSO aren’t lost at all. The accompaniment of the strings on this song round it out into a very memorable song, almost like a Sgt. Pepper’s era Beatles, fused with modern Indie music. This song also has some Post-Punk elements to it, especially on the guitar/vocals. Listening to tracks 4 and 5 back to back was the highlight of the album for me. They do a great job of fusing these two styles of music together, and it flows very well into what feels like one long song.
The album closes with the songs “Three Times ‘Round the Mountain” and “Magnet Holds Melody,” and once again I am blown away with the orchestral instrumentation on this album. The strings on these songs are at times melancholy, sometimes soothing, and sometimes downright frightening. “Magnet Holds Melody” is a super cool fucking song, it starts off with a spoken word story about how the protagonist learned about their world view. The protagonist describes going to church and the museum and their experience with finding their cosmic significance. They began to describe their dream about what is “beyond heaven” and the protagonist explains trying to wrap their head around the idea of infinity. This song is thought provoking as well as soothing. The instrumental “bulk” of the song builds into a grand finale, before going back into the familiar piano line from the beginning of the album. The record comes full circle and comes back to a point where you hear a baby crying over the piano. The album ends the way it began, and sort of has a Benjamin Button effect where there’s a baby at the end. I don’t know maybe I’m losing it, but to me the record feels like it was going in reverse. With the protagonist going back in time throughout his life, reflecting on his past, to the point where he is an infant at the closing moments. Who knows, maybe I’m fucking insane and it’s just a baby crying. All I know is that you should listen to this record and find out what it means to you.
This record is one that needs to be listened to front to back to be fully appreciated. Hybrid Sheep Organizer aren’t making music the way that you may be used to, rather they are blending a few styles you enjoy, adding a string section, and making some really cool experimental music. This album only has 7 songs, but don’t be fooled. This record packs in almost an hour of music in those 7 songs. I was super stoked to hear this album after seeing HSO live a few times, but I was really blown away by Body Erased Through Sonic Redemption! I only touched on a few of the themes of the record here, because you should really go listen for yourself. Get a pair of headphones, grab a cat (or a dog if you’re a psycho) and turn the lights off and listen to this record start to finish. The instrumentation and poetry on this record is fucking awesome, and you should support people making cool shit. So guy buy their record on bandcamp. Don’t be an asshole.