You've probably heard the legend by now, about a band comprising of twenty-five members, all in white robes and hailing from Texas. Scary cult visions run side by side with the legend, but don't be afraid, just exhale with a post orgasmic smile as company.
Whatever twenty-five robed Texans conjures up in your mind, nothing will prepare you for the cinematic masterpiece of surround sound ecstasy that is The Beginning Stages Of.... It could soundtrack The Wizard Of Oz; it's that bizarrely brilliant. The Tin Man would rust solid as he wept for joy, as soon as he heard Days Like This and its "Days like this keep me warm" refrain.
Comparisons are fairly redundant, but a halo friendly Flaming Lips would be a good starting point. Like Wayne Coyne's troupe of cosmic cowboys, The Polyphonic Spree take the sadness of life and transform those moments into preposterously euphoric sounds of celebration. On It's The Sun at the beginning we are told that "Suicide is a shame" and by the end the light is almost blinding, as we hear "It's the sun and it makes me smile all around", are you listening Thom Yorke?
Of course, there will be the voices of cynicism, shouting from the gutter "Hippies!" or "Religious bullshit!" but the point would be sorely missed. Even if there is a hidden hippy/religious agenda connected to this, then it's only there if you let it be. The point is, to take whatever you can from it, whatever means something to you personally.
So clap-happy Christians, agnostics, atheists and Satanists, welcome to the alternative Sunday sermon.
Oh! One final point, beware of the final track, it lasts for thirty-odd minutes, there is no recognisable tune and even Polyphonic mainman Tim DeLaughter fell asleep during its creation. 8/10
Reviewed By Mark Mason
29th of September 2002