What are the chances of being hit by lightning twice? Probably about the same as releasing two groundbreaking records within a week of each other. After completing their masterwork Elevator Music with Attitude just a week ago, the critically acclaimed trio known as Dystopia recorded Billy Sing the Blues, a somewhat smaller undertaking but no less fulfilling. The previously all-instrumental group cast all their inhibitions aside and decided to use the soulful voice and sassy lyrics of Bill (who usually plays guitar) in this daring new album. Other changes in the line-up include the gritty guitarwork of their drummer, Will, and the thunderous percussion of his younger brother, Mike (usually keyboards). Such an audacious move fully showcases the talent and diversity of these prodigies, who transcended the bleak complacency of suburban life to become international superstars. The album itself is an intelligent assortment of ten songs, each an antithesis to the cellophane world of modern pop music. It ranges from Oh Yeah, a brilliant experiment in lyrical minimalism, to Blasphemous Son, an enigmatic composition packed with visceral intensity. The album is even broad enough to include some mellower pieces such as Chestnut Grove and Up North. I recommend that the album be listened to from start to finish to capture the rising tension between Billís cerebral vocals and the two brothersí boisterous instrumentals. Otherwise the full intent of the music by its creatorsí shanít be realized.
Final Point: Billy Sings the Blues represents yet another victory in the short, but prolific history of Dystopia.