Philadelphia indie rock band charms with bizarre finesse

Philadelphia alternative-indie band, The Extraordinaries, will cheer everyone up while bringing down the house. Quirky, crazy, and bizarre is the name of the game for this narrative-based group.

Philly is known for many things, including cheese steaks, brotherly love, and the Liberty Bell, but people don’t always remember its independent music scene.

It would be hard to sum up The Extraordinaries in only a sentence. They can be deep, bizarre and touching. Their main strength is telling a story with each song.

They have three solo albums, “Short Stories,” “Ribbons of War” and “Electric and Benevolent.” “Short Stories” is easily the most narrative, as would be expected from the title. Each song is a story about anything ranging from a cactus that wanted to give high-fives to humanoid rats serving pizzas. “Ribbons of War” is one cohesive story about a sea-bound couple as they come together, split and go to war with each other in the end. It is without a doubt the most touching and personal album. The third album is the newest and the one with the most approachable and mainstream sound.

The standouts on Electric and Benevolent are “The Man in the Suit,” “Patent Pending,” “Consummation of Lights,” “The Egg of Columbus,”  “Terzetto,” and “Zeus on the Mountainside.” The album kicks off with a trumpet salute at the top of “The Man in the Suit.”

The song feels like an overture, sampling each of the songs on the album. The chorus is a catchy oxymoron about the stability of a man in comparison to a three-legged table. The third cut, “Patent Pending,” talks about how ideas are the most valuable of all treasures and this song tells the story of them being stolen, hence the name “Patent Pending.”  “Consummation of Lights” is a funky breakdown on the album featuring a soft female sound in the background.

The song seems to be about a man who has been waiting for his moment to shine his whole life.  Now, he has decided to take the opportunity he has been given. It’s a light song that helps break up the album.

Immediately following “Consummation of Lights” is “The Egg of Columbus.” This is the most bizarre of the offerings and it does a good job of capturing the personality of the band. There’s nothing extraordinary about it and it’s kind of bizarre. “Terzetto” is the song where the album explodes.

This is the most high impact and powerful song. Fast phrases, offbeat guitar riffs and a chorus that climaxes triumphantly make this song push the tempo harder and harder till it erupts. After the explosion, the calmness of “Zeus on the Mountainside” is a comforting and somewhat fitting transition.

It is the softest and most psychedelic song on the entire album. The guitar riffs and repeated drum pattern create a meditative rhythm that can put someone in a trance. From there your mind will just float on as the album finishes off.

The Extraordinaries are strong and unusual. An interesting thing about each Extraordinaries album is the packaging. Each CD is put in a book. Each page features lyrics and an image to correspond with the song.

The covers are all unique material with a screen printed image. The music of the Extraordinaries can be found at the label’s website and is available for purchase.


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