There was nothing like the Polyphonic Spree when the group formed in 2000 at the height of nu metal-dom. The Dallas based band was the welcome opposite of nu metal’s dour and doomed view.
The sunny choral-pop act, which appeared to arrive straight out of the Flower Power era, sung of love, hope and beauty while clad in flowing robes. The 20-plus piece group’s debut ‘The Beginning Stages Of The Polyphonic Spree’, which dropped in 2002, is loaded with songs, which range from celebratory to euphoric.
Vocalist Tim DeLaughter’s vision is like an amalgam of the Beach Boys and Flaming Lips. The lush, deep Polyphonic Spree is the sonic antithesis of his former band Tripping Daisy, which ended after the band’s guitarist Wes Berggren died due to an overdose. It wasn’t difficult for DeLaughter to craft Tripping Daisy songs but it was quite an accomplishment to launch something as big as Polyphonic Spree.
DeLaughter’s friends supported the concept but had doubts that the group could ever get off the ground. “I have the personality when told that something won’t work that it drives me that much harder to make it succeed,” DeLaughter said while calling from his Dallas home. “The Beginning Stages of…’ was recorded in three days. It was not recorded as our debut album and to that end it still continues to surprise me in many different ways.”
To some pop culture pundits, it was surprising that the tunes ever caught on but perhaps the well-crafted adult symphonies to God are just what folks need during a very daunting period. The upbeat album dropped nine months after the 9-11 tragedy. Perfect timing.
The Polyphonic Spree, which will perform Friday at the Theater of Living Arts, has continued to make life-affirming yet quirky albums.
2004’s consistent ‘Together We’re Heavy’ was followed by the band’s soundtrack for the film ‘Thumbsucker.’ 2007’s ‘The Fragile Army’ is a big sounding album, which for once features somber, melancholy songs.
The band’s next album, which is as yet untitled, is on the horizon. The group will preview some of the songs. The album might not drop for nearly a year. “It is looking like the new full-length album may happen as early as February 2013 but definitely by April 2013 at the latest. We are calling the sound ‘psychophonic.’ It will be the perfect marriage of psychedelic, symphonic, pop and some dance elements in there for good measure.”
Whatever DeLaughter wants to call it, the new disc will be much like its preceding offerings since it’s certain to be considerably different than what’s delivered by most contemporary recording artists.