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Album Review: LESBIAN Forestelevision

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You may have heard recently through the grapevine that a band going by the name “Lesbian” exists. Furthermore, it has no female members, which should add all kinds of confusion to your plate and make you look twice before clicking “play” on one of the internet's favorite pastimes. After all, it is difficult to look at four bearded burly dudes and think: “lesbian(s).”

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Lesbian hails from Seattle, Washington. The band has been doing psychedelic prog metal and fusing it with elements of doom for two proper full lengths, an EP, and a split 10”. Lesbian has the formula down and their older works show that they can craft some decent albums. 2007's Power Hor is a solid four track album. With Forestelevsion Lesbian look to take their sound further with a solitary track serving as the entire album.

To say Forestelevision is a slow album would be right on the money. Their new label Transition Loss claims that – and I paraphrase – they are a prog influenced, epic doom band, with grunge, 70's rock, and black metal influences. It's a bit of a mouthful. Yeah, the band has plenty of doom, 70's rock, prog, and tinges of black metal and grunge.

But what does that really say about a band when a label advertises them to try and match as many interests as possible? I'm not denying that these genres appear in various forms throughout the record like rampant phantoms. Sure they do. But a big trend nowadays is this insane desire to cram as many genres into one album as possible and it feels like such statements make the band fall in line with a lot of other riffraff when, in actuality, Lesbian at least do it better than most. Playing count-the-genres is becoming old hat though and the funny thing is, despite the variety, Forestelevision doesn't sound terribly original.

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As a singular track it feels a bit stretched. The album almost feels broken up into pieces switching between jam sections, baked out vocals, harsh riffs, and some gorgeous soundscapes. Lesbian do a great job tying together some excellent riffs and there are some really great transitions. When the band is on their game they'll really have your ear to the speaker.

The problem is everything else. Despite some wonderful and excellent sections, there are plenty of boring sections that you'll just wanna be high for. Because if you're sober (as I was every time I listened to it) you may find your mind wandering far away from where Lesbian wants to take you.

Had things been more divided the album would have come out more focused. Places such as the thirty-two minute mark could have easily transitioned into another track without anything being taken away. Instead the listener is left with a vinyl experience even on CD and digital where they'll either tolerate it as is or skip around until something they like comes on.

As a final note, Transition Loss has announced that an additional outro track will be included on the 2xLP gatefold. It's difficult to say whether or not this would have enhanced or detracted from the experience. Considering the album is a few seconds shy of a quarter of an hour I don't see what could have been done to really bring this full circle and have it culminate into one massively worthwhile experience. Most likely, the diehards will want to check out that version.

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Overall, some might be disappointed to find that there is, in fact, no girl on girl action throughout the whole album (not even in the artwork). As such, the piece stands as something that could either take you several listens to begin to grasp or as a boring experiment. The label sells the band properly but the material feels over-hyped. Again, it's not bad, but a forty-four minute song with no cuts feels like a test, especially when cuts could easily be made.

For anyone looking to get into a progressive/stoner metal, perhaps look more to Bongzilla or Electric Wizard because Lesbian probably isn't the place to start and Forestelevision is not the band's strongest offering. Anyone actually wanting to listen to and/or watch lesbians will probably find it a much more worthwhile goal. And many of those videos out there are under forty-four minutes.


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