Vocalist/guitarist Erich Specht's engaging vocals take the listener through stories of getting out of debt or of ditching a lover set to melodies that are instantly memorable and always interesting. Among the standouts on the album is the title track - a bleak yet lighthearted warning for addictive types that features melodic guitar and banjo interaction and erupts into a powerful sing-song chorus of "Hey, don't you get it? You're a living experiment. How much can you take?" The release occurring on tax day in the US provides a handy tie-in to the feelgood song about getting out of debt, Into the Black. The light acoustic-guitar driven verses provide a nice counterpoint to the massive choruses where guitar lines intermingle with backup vocals that would be at home in a Nick Lowe song. The release of the album is accompanied with the launch of an original online experience, pushpuppets.net. On this site, users can listen to selections from A Living Experiment while they toy with interactive art. Not exactly complete games, the web site functions more like an interactive lava lamp. Playing the song A Living Experiment brings up a row of vices that move up the screen which you can drag into the character to the left causing his features to change. For example, if you drag a beer his eyes become glassy and he starts to drool - drag a joint he might grow dreadlocks as his eyes become bloodshot. Push Puppets are utilizing the web site as a method of viral distribution via an email-to-a-friend form and links to social bookmarking sites such as Digg. The site is already enjoying considerable traffic which is expected to grow as more interactive pieces are added. This album took two years to complete and represents a major milestone for songwriter/producer Erich Specht. With one listen it becomes very clear why it took so long - the arrangements change dramatically throughout each song and there's always an unexpected twist just ahead. Erich's bridges often expand upon the established themes of a song then very capably return the listener to a more familiar refrain. Erich Specht has been a part of the Chicago club scene for many years now, making his name initially with pop outfits The Likens and Devastation Wagon. For this album, Erich has chosen to wear most of the hats while utilizing the talents of drummer Chris Morrow of notable fusion act The Jigawatt Trio.
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