"Experiment On A Flat Plane" September 12, 2000
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"It's anything but a flat plane"
- The Austin Chronicle
"Here we go again - faster than the speed of sound" (from track 3 "Flat Plane".) The Austin institution is back with their best album yet. It took six years to get it, but it was well worth the wait. Experiment On A Flat Plane will be released on September 12, 2000.
"It's been nearly a decade since Soulhat's Black Cat reign and more than six years since 'Bonecrusher' jumped off Good to Be Gone onto KLBJ's permanent playlist. A breakup, reunion, and numerous lineup changes have followed, but the band's new release, Experiment On A Flat Plane, proves that last man standing Kevin McKinney is both a stubborn survivor and the undeniable soul of the Soulhat franchise – one of the rare locals instantly recognizable by either lyrical phrasing or guitar tone. Better yet, the new album fully reflects those six years of maturity and struggles as the balladry, midtempo rockers, and outright oddities all convey a singularly compelling sense of urgency and comfort - suggesting Soulhat's best years may not be behind them, but still very much ahead." - Andy Langer, The Austin Chronicle
Paired again with Stuart Sullivan (Sublime, Meat Puppets, Junior Brown), engineer of Soulhat's 1992 release Outdebox, the band set out to record their first album for Terminus Records. Also, Soulhat once again features cover artwork by Earthpig (aka Adam Bork) whose photograph "Musicians on a Flat Plane" inspired the album's title. The experiment? "To make an acoustic album - the kind you don't bring home to mother and as it turned out we couldn't resist tossing in some nasty Texas guitar," says Kevin McKinney.
"Experiment On A Flat Plane is a lot more like the band's debut CD than the Epic release, meaning it's plum full of inspired songs and some earnest, bright-eyed performances. The guitars are most often acoustic, and the songwriting bounces from Kevin McKinney's ever-sly, Tom Waits-inspired rock howlers such as My Man Joe and Plastic to sweeter, softer fare such as Skin, a flowery highlight of the CD. Soulhat's cast member changes [including] the departure of drummer Barry 'Frosty' Smith, who's still all over this CD -- the joy of playing wasn't lost on frontman McKinney. It also seems to have rubbed off on recently added bassist John Vogelsang (ex-Ging'breadmen) and [drummer Brad Evilsizer (Opie Gone Bad)] And who wouldn't have fun, playing songs like the rollicking, twangy WNBA, which laments, 'The WNBA stole my girl away . . . there's a jumpball for my poor heart/ And how will I rebound from misery.' Soulhat continues to rebound just fine." - Chris Riemenschneider, The Statesman
On the prospect of touring again with the new lineup, McKinney says, "I'm not done yet, I've still got a couple go-rounds in me. Everybody is the same age now and we're all excited about getting out on the road and making new friends. This band is a lot happier now."
With a record this good, how could they not be?
Kevin McKinney - Guitar &Vocals
Johnny Vogelsang - Bass
Brad Evilsizer- Drums
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