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Articles Home » 2017 Articles » Schooltree - 2017 Heterotopia
Schooltree - 2017 Heterotopia

ARTIST: Schooltree
ALBUM: Heterotopia
LABEL: Self Released
YEAR: 2017


LINEUP: Lainey Schooltree - vocals, keyboards * Sam Crawford - guitar * Peter Danilchuk - synth, organ * Ryan Schwartzel - bass * Tom Collins - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Overture * 02 Rock Singer * 03 The Big Slide * 04 Cat Centipede * 05 The Abyss * 06 Radio * 07 Walk You Through * 08 Edge of A Dream * 09 The Leitmaiden * 10 The Legend Of Enantiodromia * 11 Specter Lyfe * 12 Dead Girl * 13 Turning Into The Strange * 14 The Edge Annihilate * 15 Power Of Fhe Ghost * 16 You And I * 17 Into Tomorrow * 18 The River * 19 Bottom Of The River * 20 Enantiodromia Awakens * 21 Zombie Connection * 22 Keep Your Head * 23 Day Of The Rogue * 24 Utopia

WEBLINKS: Schooltree Bandcamp Page | Schooltree Website

Thanks to fellow GDM Scribe Eric and his investigative talents, Schooltree would probably have gone unnoticed, but his review of their 'Rise' album a few years back touched a nerve with enough of us here to create a bit of a scene. So, fast forward some 4 years and Lainey has come up with an album (funded partly through a successful kick-starter campaign) that is so complex and beautiful, and one that I've lived with for some months now and can safely say it'll be one of the best albums I'll probably hear all year.

The Songs
The 100 minute rock opera may well be something of an anathema in today's world of the 'here-today, gone-tomorrow', homogenised throw away 3 minute pop fluff.. but in the hands of one Lainey Schooltree, here we have an artist who obviously doesn't know the meaning of the word compromise and as such has produced an album that is so rich in both scope and vision. On one hand this album is well versed in the old school musical dramatics that were so prevalent in the early 70's but also has one foot firmly planted in today's somewhat turbulent, confused musical landscape. Taking her musical cues from such artists as Genesis, (early) Queen, Kate Bush and a touch of Klaatu too, Schooltree have produced a truly enthralling album that's a real trip. A fully blown concept/rock opera that follows the journey of Suzi who, when she loses her body goes in search of it by travelling through a parallel universe, and along the way making contact with some wonderful other worldly characters (that's not really doing the story justice as it's far more complex than that!!). Drawing on extensive research into both Mythology and Philosophy, Lainey has constructed a meticulous, compelling story that grips the listener from the very start and never lets go. At times dense and complex, but also with moments of directness 'Heterotopia' is a Prog/Art Rock delight. Split into two acts, the storytelling is always concise and lucid, the musicianship exemplary and the production which at times can seem claustrophobic (which just adds to the drama) but also when needed is expansive and lush, befitting of telling a tale of such scope. There is so much to take in and it is recommended that it's listened to in a single sitting (a headphone experience is best), to fully appreciate this album.

In Summary
This album conjures up all the best elements of the Prog/Art Rock movement of the early 70's, but still with enough of a contemporary edge. Repeated listening is required to fully appreciate everything going on here.. and there's plenty believe me. Too early perhaps to say if it'll be my album of the year, but I reckon it'll be somewhere near the top come the end of 2017.

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#1 | reyno-roxx on March 19 2017 11:34:15
Nice piece in Fireworks too, Malcolm. I must get this album.
#2 | Eric on March 19 2017 14:36:17
Nailed it. computer work
#3 | roadrunner158 on March 24 2017 10:51:27
Pre-ordered it on Bandcamp. Can't wait for the release.
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