This CLIBBUS album has knocked me off-course during my inter-dimensional travels and I have crashed-landed onto an alternate Earth where the marquee bands are PRIMUS, ALICE DONUT, and VICTIMS FAMILY (on this planet, early WEEN is like NICK DRAKE). It makes a lot of sense that this power trio hails from Rochester, New York. Rochester has a notoriously eccentric punk scene, full of skateboarding weirdos whose parents huffed a lot of Kodak fumes and birthed strange progeny who enjoy flouting genre restrictions and get off on letting their freak flag fly fucking high. After a manic opening instrumental, CLIBBUS gets down to bizness on “Exploding Child,” complete with half-rapped singing as the MEAT PUPPETS jam in the background, and don’t forget to pause for the BEATLES-esque soaring vocal part, and you know this sucker ain’t gonna end without some ironic whistling to bring it all back home. This is prog made by the kids in high school who were so into their own trip that they seemed to vanish into a hole that was probably actually a portal to another universe. You know the type: they invent funny-to-them names like “Beefus D’Aurelio” and “Lettuce Head” and they’re suspiciously good at their instruments. It’s exhausting, but in a bad way, like climbing too many stairs when the elevator is broken, not the good way, like screwing in your roommate’s bed when they’re out of town. I like weird shit made by smart idiots, but still I can’t fully endorse these goof-offs. Yet, I can see an impressionable ne’er-do-well witnessing these guys shred a basement show and get the itch to quit hiding the freak flag under their straight clothes and to that I say, “huzzah!” You absolutely should not cut that brief DOORS piss-take six minutes into that one song, and yes, the public does indeed have a bottomless appetite for wacky, pitch-shifted vocals. They might be from Rochester 2021, but to me CLIBBUS will always come from 1989 San Francisco and right now they’re pumping quarters into a payphone on Mission trying to get on a NOMEANSNO bill. Maybe Jello will be into it?