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Wednesday, Jan 29 1997
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The Olivia Tremor Control
Debuting with a solid triple record has about as much chance for success as Brett Easton Ellis might have had writing "The Waste Land." Which is another way of saying that the Olivia Tremor Control's Music From the Unrealized Film Script "Dusk at Cubist Castle" is, by its three-platter form, a little on the fatty side. But at least it's ambitious, laced with Syd Barrett-/Brian Wilson-like madcap genius.

As the title suggests, the record is a soundtrack for a nonexistent film. The pop songs, as opposed to the bounty of freakish ambient postcards here, bubble and fizz and seep with '60s references, each telling the story of a character at the abstract dream space Cubist Castle. As a concept, it succeeds like The Wall or Spacemen 3's The Perfect Prescription, meaning it's got plenty of psychedelic hooks to catch stoned teen-agers until they get distracted by the CD's cover art or random traces of light on the ceiling.

The Athens, Ga.-based quartet is part of the Denver-based Elephant 6 Recording Company, a collective of like-minded popsters who don't vomit out their influences, but rather drink from the same cup of inspiration as their three-B heroes: Beatles, Beach Boys, Byrds. Word has it that the Olivias' live show is carnival-esque, if occasionally spotty, more akin to the rambunctious Neutral Milk Hotel than the Apples in Stereo's oft-uninspired sets. Sugar cubes or strong blotter might remedy the problem.

-- Jeff Stark

The Olivia Tremor Control plays Saturday, Feb. 1, at 10 p.m. at the Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St. (at Texas). Supreme Dicks and Azalia Snail open. Tickets are $6; call 621-4455.

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Jeff Stark

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