If you’ve read this Local Radar feature since it began, you’ve probably noticed my affinity for Food Pyramid, consistently one of the more under-appreciated bands by local music critics. And I get it: their brand of repetitive, fuzzed out, electro-space rock whatever-you-want-to-call-it is not everyone’s forte. And when most of your songs clock in anywhere between five to 20 minutes — and don’t forget a traditionally unpredictable live show which usually doesn’t include any recognizable material — it becomes difficult to gain any traction in the community.
Of course that has never been Food Pyramid’s goal throughout the several releases they have put out on now-Oakland based Moon Glyph Records. That relocation unfortunately happened around the time their first proper album Mango Sunrise was unleashed. And it’s really too bad, because Mango is their most accessible, rhythmic and impressive work. It got a lot of national love through various online hypemasters, but was kind of discounted here at home. Food Pyramid went rather quiet after that, so I’m glad I was able to catch them at an impromptu Lower Dens show at the Triple Rock last year. Those who were there (which wasn’t many), got to see Food Pyramid play an explosive set leading into the Baltimore headlining band’s teaser of their at-the-time unreleased album Nootropics (sidenote: also one of the better reviewed releases of 2012).
Lower Dens frontwoman Jana Hunter is a vocal fan of Food Pyramid and reportedly tapped the band to open that show. So it comes as no surprise that the new FP album Ecstasy & Refreshment features a lead single with Hunter on vocals. It’s been on the internet for weeks without much attention, but slowly and surely others have taken note, like this week’s write-up by Pitchfork.
You obviously can’t understand anything Hunter is saying—that’s kind of Food Pyramid’s M.O. But her voice literally serves as another instrument, and it washes over itself, creates layers and assists in building the song to danceable, or slightly swaying, groove. “Dexedream” is noticeably similar to the band’s cassette work rather than Mango Sunrise, with an obvious nod to their solid tape III. Take a listen to “E-Harmony” and “Last Shuttle To The Red Planet” and you’ll get the connection.
Food Pyramid’s new album Ecstasy & Refreshment is out July 23 via Intercoastal Artists.