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"Sentinels of the Space Age", a mini-space opera by The Jellyfish Brothers

"Sentinels of the Space Age" cover art
"Sentinels of the Space Age" cover art
The Jellyfish Brothers

“Sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip…” no, but really, let The Jellyfish Brothers’ mini space opera take you on an auditory odyssey. You’ll hear their take on speed tribes, the edge of the world and gestures of science.

The first track off “Sentinels of the Space Age”, due out April 19, is “VALIS”. With its simple, but effective drumbeat, distorted guitars, psychedelic synthesizer sounds and spare vocals, “VALIS” sets the tone for what you’re about to hear immediately.

The next track, “Edge of the World”, is one of the few songs that not only has a lot of lyrics, but lyrics that go into a more post-apocalyptic direction: “on the edge of the world… I’m gonna die, I’m not scared. I don’t remember anything anymore”. The music, however, is quite deceptive. It starts off with a sunny, surf-rock drenched intro. As the song ambles toward its end, there’s an effect that sounds like a spaceship beaming the listener up.

Track three, “LHC”, goes from a minimalistic guitar intro to dreamy vocals. The vocals and lyrics seem to suggest that the singer is marveling at the space around him and letting his thoughts wander a la Alice In Wonderland.

If “LHC” was about getting lost in space, track four, “Speed Tribes”, seems to suggest that it’s about finding yourself in unfamiliar territory. “Speed Tribes” takes its name to heart. It’s the most up-tempo song on the EP, with a Led Zeppelin influenced opening riff that segues into the Brothers’ signature surf rock. The music switches off between its fast and furious tempo and “Paranoid” era Black Sabbath influenced guitar and drums. The lyrics switch between chanting in a foreign language and lyrics about rabblerousing and baseball bats.

The last track, “Gestures of Science”, starts off with a slow meandering guitar, minimal drums and then speeds up a little bit. The slowing and speeding up of the tempo throughout the song conjures images of that scene in “Spaceballs” where Dark Helmet puts the ship into “ludicrous speed” to catch Lone Starr’s ship. “Gestures of Science” is a very complex song that still follows the space rock approach the Brothers took for this EP.

As the last note gently fades into oblivion and returns the listener to Earth, it becomes obvious that each song on “Sentinels of the Space Age” does seem to represent a space rock journey the Brothers want to take the listener on. As the great Hunter S. Thompson said, “buy the ticket, take the ride”.

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