I was beyond nervous to hear this album. I didn’t doubt their musical abilities. I doubted my emotional preparedness to hear my favorite band compose music for the first time in more than a decade.
The announcement of Fear Inoculum kicked off a grief process. Flat out denial about the album even existing. Anger that a new record would pierce the womb-like nostalgia bubble I had been in the last 13 years. So many questions. Why now? Why this title? Am I a subset of a Euclidean space for which the Hausdorff dimension strictly exceeds the topological dimension or am I just a fuckboy?
The looming cloud of depression followed me through the month of August. Finally, acceptance.
Fear Inoculum opens similarly to Lateralus. A few seconds of vaguely machine-like noises that fade into instruments that are native to this planet. It sounded like the door ajar chime on a 1950s era UFO, persistently reminding you to close the latch because you’re letting Earth’s polluted oxygen into the main cabin. Oxygen. I can feel the album, I can feel Maynard talking to me, telling me I am a seed, I'm a beautiful seed and inside of me, a whole world is growing. I am the listener. I am the fruit and the taste, I am the King of Israel and my cells are latkes. I am 8% Italian. I am the tomato sauce on my own pizza, and I will not let anyone tell me what I should do, or what I should be.
I am a fruit. You can say whatever you want, I know that you are wrong. I am the center of the universe, I am the liberal.