Listening to Operation Spacetime Cynderblock, I get the same feeling as when I listen to God Bless the Red Krayola… or Soldier-Talk. The same feeling as The Fugs Second Album or Virgin Fugs. More recently Failed Musician by Nutsak or anything by the Unknown Instructors. No matter how many times I listen to any of these albums, the next song, the next riff, sometimes the next second is a surprise. Like those others, Kreamy ‘Lectric Santa is impossible to categorize or genre, but that’s what makes ‘em good. The only category I can come up with is madness, and you can’t label something madness because that’s a goddamm paradox. Looking at the album cover and reading up on these Florida now-California psych pioneers, I don’t think they spend too much time pondering paradoxes. Paradoxes are for the sane.
Madness is a hard thing to capture no matter how many tracks and how many hammers, accordions, keyboards, mandolins, saws, fiddles, gongs, 1970s elementary school teachers, 1980s televisions, 1990s radios (boomboxes?), tambourines and window screens you have to make noise with. All of these things might actually be on this album, with at least half residing in the song “Workaholics Paradise Lost and Found.” When the album is sweet, it’s a cavity (the perfectly titled “Sickly Sweet” and “Spaceship”), when it’s heavy, it’s Bad Brains (Everything…? and “New World Order Society”), when it’s nostalgic, it’s not for the San Fran psych scene or some greater time in rockroll history, it’s for The Facts of Life. “Mindy Cohn” is a half cover of the Facts theme song and part ode to the annoying one with the big cheeks, Natalie. It’s a weird ride. I recommend it for Friday afternoons, home from work, strung out, cracking that first beer.
Here are some more instructions. Don’t pay any attention to the tracklisting or song titles until later. It will ruin the fun. Now I shouldn’t tell you this because it will be doing just that, ruining the fun, but I feel I have to. I’ve been scared shitless twice on this album. The interludes “Danse Bastard Danse” and “Spacejam 92 Revisited” have struck fear into my usually tame heart. For the first, I thought my computer had been infected with a vicious adware campaign for strippers or shampoo. For the second, I thought I was being abducted by aliens again. Man was I glad when I realized it was just music and a happy song about Mindy Cohn was next.
To end the review, I think I’m going to take back everything I said. I’ve done this before, but THIS time, it’s for real. At the end of the instrumental weirdo bass space surf song with violins, “A.R.P,” you hear two voices who I assume are Kreamy’s brainchildren Robert Price and Priya Ray. These two lines just about sum it all up:
“That was a really funny song.”
“Yea it was weird. It didn’t make any sense.”
I’d post an MP3, but you can go here and listen to a bunch of these songs: http://www.kreamy.org/kls_html/mp3.html