Fred Schneider & The Superions - The Vertical Mind

by Mark Steele Rating:8 Release Date:2017-05-05

Since 2006 Fred Schneider has continued to pull further quirky ditties out of his eccentric toolbox. With his other project The Superions, he is lined up with music arrangers, Noah Brodie and Dan Marshall. They bring their latest album - The Vertical Mind, with its many oddball life observations.

Many of the songs on the 12-track treatise here, tend to be of the formula of surreal Techno beat funk, as in the opening we see a psychological readjustment needed when Fred advises to a backbeat, "...breaking with tradition, the songs of  the iconoclastic songs of the Superions are working with the unknown realms of the vertical mind".

Lead single ‘Konichiwa’ kicks off with an organ and guitar driven groove to underpin his multilingual greetings - a potential international freshman's icebreaker session.

There’s the pulsing bass led disco frenzy of ‘Glitter Gulch’ , which celebrates the Las Vegas strip club dancers. In a New Order 'Blue Monday' feel, 'Albondigas (Meatballs! Ole!)', sounds like a restaurant jingle by the chef promoting his own eatables.

A 1980's Electro-Funk get down on 'Sleeping Booty', has Fred employing a slight George Clinton tonal delivery. Chaos ensues with unleashed animals on 'Stampede At The Petting Zoo',  and then there is the Aussie beer song with male chorus 'When The Dingoes Ate The Babies'. It falters half-way from fits of laughter only for Fred to pick it back up to finish.

Two airport theme funky dance numbers are included. The quaintly soulful 'Passport Wallet Cellphone' has a swoop at the immunity of VIP lounges and private privilege card holders. Whilst there is the look at the uncomfortable search and scan process,  'Strip Search' which has a bouncy strut in the manner of Funboy Three/Bananarama's hitIt Aint What You Do, It's The Way That You Do It'.

The synth bass line eerie-disco was driven and slightly dark on 'Kiss Me To Heaven', which has Fred in what could be an Iggy Pop meets cool cat Nosferatu guise.  Drawers in despair with (Underpants) In The Rain' and the Lipps Inc Funky Town-esque tight mover, 'Savage Kiss' end the album leaving you wondering what you were just listening to.

The Vertical Mind reminds you of how we should take ourselves less seriously in a time dominated by self-obsession, finger pointing, and trend-led persuasions. Fred Schneider and the Superions are not afraid of being oddballs and it somehow provides an antidote to these testing times.

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