I don’t know what else I can say about Vice Quadrant.
It’s SO. GODDAMNED. GOOD.
It’s funny and heartbreaking and complex and catchy and beautiful. It’s The Iliad and War of The Worlds and The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. It’s Styx and Electric Light Orchestra and The Darkness blended up into a neon psychedelic rock opera. Where MK III was a tight focus on the family dynamics of the three main robots, Vice Quadrant blows open multiple universes of distinct gods, monsters, and heroes. You’ll want to give the double-length epic a few complete listens in order to catch all the details, and then a few more for the songs, and then find yourself pushing the album on unsuspecting friends in attempts to trap them into the glittering pink and blue web of Vice Quadrant. This is an album that incites the need for discussion and dissection, fan theory and fandom hype. Fans from back in the day will recognize old songs that have been floating around in bootlegs and alpha tracks for years, finally polished and given a chance to shine in a narrative context that fits them into the story as neatly as if it had been planned that way all those years ago. Fans of the steampunk roots of the band may itch at the general sci-fi theme, but can still find plenty of the classic folk-rock and musical theater trademarks among the cosmic whales and lovesick satellites.
Why a pop culture breakthrough continues to elude the band remains a mystery to me. It breaks my heart that people don’t know about Steam Powered Giraffe. Beyond the devoted cult of fans on Tumblr, the whole damn Internet should be buzzing about the release of Vice Quadrant.