Mike GordonPhish bassist extraordinaire, has offered up a free stream of his new solo album, Overstep, for the week before its official release date of February 25th. You can find the stream by hopping over to Rolling Stone, but it will only be available until the 25th.

The album itself is quite enjoyable, riddled with Gordon’s bemusing quirks amidst pop/funk sensibilities. Gordon’s band includes musicians Craig Myers (percussion), Tom Cleary (keyboards), Todd Isler (drums), and Gordon’s longtime collaborator, Scott Muwarski (guitar/vocals). Murawski and Gordon spent weekend retreats in New England, drumming up ideas for new songs on random excursions.

When Murawski and Gordon brought that aura of spontaneous musical experimentation to the studio, it was up to producer Paul Q. Kolderie (Radiohead, the Pixies, Warren Zevon) to bring it all together. Gordon calls the effort “more fun-oriented” than his previous three albums, and more “song-y” than some of the extended jams the Phish phan community has known to love.

The album opens to the bizarre layering of “Ether,” a tension-building discordant blend of tape loops, acoustic guitar picking, and treble-floating vocals. Once the drums and bass enter the mix, however, the song goes from bizarre to only-sorta-bizarre, as it’s still laden with Gordon-penned lyrics. “Up in the sky, I found rocket components… so I hooked them up to try to make a new girlfriend.” Despite the quirks, the chorus of Ether has an pop-like quality to it.

Upon a first listen, I was surprised to hear just how smooth Overstep really is. Sure, there are some tensely-discordant moments (see: the guitar intro of “Peel”), but a song like “Tiny Little World” sounds like the work of an alt-rock band from the 90’s. Really, the distinguishing characteristic of this song is the space-bass sound employed by the Gordoleone himself. 

Two songs performed by Phish also appear on this album, “Yarmouth Road” and “Say Something.” The former received a handful of performances throughout 2013, debuting at Saratoga Performing Arts Center and carrying through the band’s run at Madison Square Garden. Mike’s studio version emphasizes the reggae with very light wah-pedal-induced guitar tones. Meanwhile, “Say Something” was only played twice by Phish, and the studio version sounds fairly comparable. Great keyboard work ties down this peculiar funky-rock tune.

All in all, Overstep is an enjoyable album. Mike Gordon’s lyrics are like none other, but, true to his own description, the listening experience is certainly more fun-oriented. Witha mastery of compositional skills, Gordon is able to place his quirky lyrics within poppy-funky melodies that are fun for the whole family. You’ll have to listen for yourself!

Gordo is also touring quite extensively over the next two months. Check out the full schedule:


2/28 – Syracuse, NY @ Westcott Theatre
3/1 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall
3/2 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
3/4 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
3/6 – Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel
3/7 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE
3/8 – Chicago, IL @ Park West
3/9 – Madison, WI @ Barrymore Theatre
3/11 – Minneapolis, MN @ Varsity Theatre
3/12 – Lawrence, KS @ Liberty Hall – NEW DATE ADDED
3/14 – Boulder, CO @ Boulder Theatre
3/15 – Park City, UT @ Park City Live
3/17 – Los Angeles, CA @ The El Rey Theatre
3/18 – San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore
3/19 – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
3/21 – Seattle, WA @ The Neptune
3/22 – Vancouver, BC @ Rio Theatre
3/28 – Boston, MA @ House of Blues
3/29 – Plymouth, NH @ Flying Monkey – NEW DATE ADDED
3/30 – Woodstock, NY @ Bearsville Theater – NEW DATE ADDED
4/4 – Tarrytown, NY @ Tarrytown Music Hall – NEW DATE ADDED
4/5 – North Adams, MA @ MassMOCA
4/6 – Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground.