The Illogistical Resource Dept. are a Bay Area trio that are heavily influenced by another Bay Area trio, Primus. There is no avoiding that especially with tracks like the opener “March of the Urchins” and “The Great Conspirator” feeling like long lost bonus material from “Tales from the Punchbowl” era. This is not a criticism at all since I am definitely a fan of Primus and the fact that IRD bassist Dan Menapace is an amazing bassist who is definitely in the class of Les Claypool.
The first half of the album is a tad more Primus influenced than the second half, perhaps mainly because of the presence of vocals. Without vocals, guitarist Jim Harris fills in more spaces and does less “texturing” than he does in the first half of the album. This is not to say that the second half of the album isn’t heavily Primus influenced. “Loss For Words” has plenty of Claypool-esque playing. Regardless of that, the songs are all great and very memorable.
The other thing that the IRD does is use spoken word samples through out the album. Whether it’s cassette tape instructions or what to do in the event of a nuclear attack, the samples are never in the way of the music. Instead they are more part of the overall landscape of the track. Listen to “Granny Elfman” for an example. There are plenty of samples but they feel part of the music verses some unnecessary narrative.
“Transmission Cinema” is the album that I wish Primus would do. It’s more prog than they ever were and feels like Primus channeling Rush at times. It’s a fun album made by three guys who are, not only very gifted musicians, but good friends and it shows. You can’t beat that.
01. March of the Urchins
02. Tinnitus We Stand
03. The Great Conspirator
04. Return of the Gargoyles
05. Subject to Change
07. The Inward Quest (Part 2 of the Giza Necropolis)
08. Duck and Cover
09. Granny Elfman
10. The Absence
11. Loss for Words