Today is the Day provide us with another reissue of an out of print album, their third full-length, Today is the Day. This album is also significant because it is the first one that the group produced on their own at Austin Enterprises (the recording studio of the group's mastermind, Steve Austin). This self-titled effort also marks a significant lineup change in the band as Austin jettisons the bass guitar in favor of an individual who mans a keyboard and various electronic devices to expand the sound of the band into new territory. With their third album, Austin and company take Today is the Day into a more "metal" territory that more closely resembles the outfit that takes shape on their later albums. And while that may or may not be important, Today is the Day might be something of a transitional record that acts somewhat as a missing link between the earlier Amphetamine Reptile records (like Supernova and Willpower) and their later Relapse records (like Temple of the Morning Star and In the Eyes of God).
Right from the opening cacophony of "Kai Piranha," the heavy sections of this record are evidently thick almost as if Austin somehow mimicked the oppressive humidity of some swamp somewhere. The vocals are more than a little unsettling particularly because of the contrast of the vicious screaming and the warbling clean tones both of which set up different moods in strange ways. "Bugs Death March" brings to mind some twisted imagery and evoke some horrid acid flash backs of bugs crawling up and down one's skin partially due to the oscillating sounds of the keyboards and also in part to the domination of the vocals in the mix; the samples and noises on this track are good examples of and a testament to the new breadth of the music due to the addition of the keyboard/ noise manipulator. When the keyboards hit on "Ripped Off" the song expands to engulf much of the aural sphere making it difficult to not be caught up in the torment of the screams or the pleading vocals that are present when the song quiets down into a more "quiet" experience. Look no further than "She is the Fear of Death" for the creepiest piece on Today Is the Day and never before has Austin's grip on sanity looked so absolutely tenuous with weird chants, outrageous falsettos, strange interludes of quiet, and lyrics that are inexplicable; "I smell sex" and "cash, cars, prizes, trips, I can't be you" are examples but really they need to be heard in the context to get a true understanding of just the mood of depravity that they get across.
Calling Today is the Day a more metal record or a transitional album for its musical content is a great disservice to how the record stands on its own in the band's oeuvre, and in reality, it is just as disturbing as any other record with the Today is the Day moniker emblazoning the album's jacket. It is transitional in the respect that Today is the Day shows just what Austin can produce when left to his own devices in the studio free of another producer's interference or input. While listening to this album, it may be fairly easy to get lost in its dense material and twisted ruminations (I found myself getting lost in it on more than one occasion) that inhabit every nook and cranny of what the record contains. Austin and company either purposely or subconsciously jam sounds into the various hidden corners creating a disconcerting atmosphere of sheer depravity and malevolence. Whatever this album may be, I cannot in good conscience say that it is accessible in any way (even the bonus tracks for the reissue seem completely part of the record), but for some reason, it gives me a new appreciation for Today is the Day while at the same time leads me to delve into their other records all over again; call it the Today is the Day gateway drug album or something along those lines.
7.6 / 10
Supernova is the first album from Today is the Day, which was originally released in 1993 on Amphetamine Reptile Records. Being out of print for quite sometime, Steve Austin (vocalist, ...
Posted Dec. 2, 2014, 10:22 a.m.
Last Friday, Nov. 28, Today Is the Day were involved in a van accident that saw injuries to Steve Austin as well as merchandise handler Trevor Thomas. As a result ...
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