Papadosio album review – T.E.T.I.O.S.
by Casey Jones
It’s been a busy year for Papadosio. The jamtronica outfit from Asheville, North Carolina has been all over the country this year including a summer festival circuit that featured Wakarusa, Electric Forest, All Good, Gnarnia, and the bands own festival, Rootwire. On top of that, they just released their new double album T.E.T.I.O.S. (To End the Illusion of Separation). Having been in the works for over two years, there was obviously some hype around this album. Does it deliver? Well, before I answer that question I should probably ask a few others; Does a bear shit in the woods? Are fire trucks red? Is Vader Luke’s father? You see where I’m going with this. Not only is the answer a resounding yes, it exceeds every expectation and results in what is the best “jam band” album in years.
Disc 1 opens up with “Direction Song”. The appropriately placed first track features Anthony Thogmartin (Guitar, Synths, Vocals) warning us of evil ahead but lets us know that “All we need is some direction.”, which Papadosio is more than willing to offer us. Easing us in through the next few tracks disc 1 really starts to pick up at “Method of Control”. Though it’s not a new song by any means (the song has become a staple in their live performances over the past year), this song is a party starter if there ever was one. Featuring a killer synth breakdown that could get your grandma raging, this song really defines the Papadosio sound. The longest track on both disks also happens to be one of the best. Clocking in at 9 minutes and ten seconds, “Monochrome” highlights everything that Papadosio does so well: Great lyrics, the perfect balance of live instruments mixed with electronic sounds and of course, jamming. This is a song that could probably be extended to 20 minutes live.
Disc 2 jumps right out of the gates, opening with the very upbeat “Cue”. Following that comes “Now That You Know”, a 9-minute excursion highlighted by a drop unlike anything you’ve probably ever heard before. Featuring sounds that range from a doorbell to what could be described as the gates of heaven opening, it’s just another fine example of what Papadosio is all about. Both those tracks will have you raging for 18 minutes straight. “Stick Figure” is probably the most organic song on the entire album. It has a natural, beautiful feel to it while seeming to spin out of control about halfway through but then bringing you right back to that beautiful place towards the end. “TV Song” sounds like it could be a Nine Inch Nails cover but that in no way is a bad thing. “Find Your Cloud” is potentially the best track on disc 2. “Dream out loud and make no sound / Find your cloud and ride it round” sings Anthony, telling us all to find what makes us happy and to stick with it.
T.E.T.I.O.S. is more of a journey than it is an album. Being over 2 hours long, not once does the album ever drag out or have the listener asking “Are we there yet?” You don’t ever want to get there. You want to stay in T.E.T.I.O.S. for as long as possible. After one listen you can honestly see how much care was put into this album. Papadosio wasn’t going to release anything that they thought was less than perfect and though some would say perfection is impossible to achieve, they came pretty damn close. This is without question one of the greatest jamtronica albums ever made and make no mistake, the way people talk about bands like Sound Tribe, The Disco Biscuits, Lotus and the levels those bands are at, Papadosio will be there in no time.