Operator Music Band are a New York quartet with an eclectic take on krautrock. The group compiled reworked tracks from their first EP alongside a number of unreleased songs to present their upcoming debut album, Puzzlephonics I & II. Lead single “Creative Tube Bending” is a slab of syncopated art-rock with razor wire guitars and lustrous synth beds, altogether resembling something along the lines of David Byrne fronting Gang Of Four. It’s the kind of punctuated, zig-zagging groove that hits you first in the shoulders before gradually taking over your whole body, with vocalist Jared Hiller maneuvering through an assortment of novel phrasings, defining hard edges around lyrics as initially abstruse as “I was falling in, falling out/ A recognized pattern/ Throwing shapes at the crowd/ I found nothing, but the threat of discussion/ A lapse in my judgment.” The meaning starts to coalesce once you have a bit more context, which Hiller offers below:
The lyrics of this song are primarily about my experience with a benign brain tumor in early 2016. I didn’t want to come at it from a serious angle because I think writing a sad song about a sad thing is sappy and obvious. I remember we recorded everything but the vocals and as is my usual habit, I didn’t write lyrics till the absolute last second. I wasn’t even really sure of the approach but I had a basic idea of the phrasing and cadences when I, in a stupid amount of pain, recorded the first take. Dara dug it and helped me fill in some of the blanks (she also wrote most of the song). I think it’s an overall fun and light ditty about a horrifying and confusing process that I am even still dealing with residual symptoms from – but also, nobody cares.
02/10 New York, NY @ Trans Pecos w/ Pavo Pavo and Parrot Dream
03/02 Brooklyn, NY @ Shea Stadium w/ Jelani Sei, Zenizen and Straw Pipes
03/15-03/18 Austin, TX @ SXSW
Puzzlephonics I & II is out 3/3 via New Professor. Pre-order it here.