February 17, 2008
SO I GOT THE Supreme Beings of Leisure CD and it's good, but I have to say that it's still not as good as their first album. It's more like Divine Operating System -- sounds good while you listen to it, but doesn't inspire the desire to put it on again any time soon. I think more than anything it's the absence of Rick Torres' guitar work, which gave the first album its edge. This is background chill-music, but not much more, notwithstanding guest appearances by Lili Haydn and even Marty Friedman of Megadeth (no, really). So, not bad, but a bit of a disappointment. On the other hand, if you haven't listened to the first album, I highly recommend it. (Audio samples for all albums are available by following the links.)
UPDATE: Why Rick Torres and not Kirin Shahani? Well, if you listen to Shahani's new post-SBL venture, Bitter:Sweet, you'll hear something much like what's described above. Nice chillout stuff, but without the edge. I'm very sorry that the original SBL lineup broke, because I think the whole was more than the sum of the parts. Much like Morcheeba and Skye Edwards.
More SBL tunes at their MySpace page. My favorite of the tunes there is "Under the Gun" from their first album.
UPDATE: Longtime InstaPundit reader Stephen Skubinna emails:
Well, I am amazed at your post. Rick Torres is my brother in law, and while I had heard of the SBoL prior to meeting him for the first time, I had never listened to them. I need to make sure he knows he's gotten an Insta-cite. Yeah, there should be no need for anyone to tell him, but musicians, right?
It's a small world. Skubinna reports that Torres has been touring with The English Beat lately.