"THE MUSICAL ARTISTRY IS WELL WORTH EXPERIENCING"
are a three-piece rock band from New York that have replaced traditional instruments such as guitars and keyboards with intriguing alternatives like saxophones, clarinets, flutes, and a 12-string bass. I was immediately taken with the idea and could not wait to hear their first effort. Approaching the music with a space rock outlook, I was hoping for long, spontaneous jams, but this music is not meant to be taken as a Nik Turner-induced dreamy walkabout. play structured rock with a variety of moods and tempos. Drums and vocals accompany the woodwind assault along with the 12-string bass which adds thickness to the atmosphere. All of the instruments are handled with startling precision. There's no mistake about the mood that any given song will strike.
The first song, "Rain Parade," with its simple yet catchy chorus, defines the musical style as a mix of progressive and popular rock with tinges of psychedelic and jazz. The bombastic saxophone recalls the Peter Gunn theme popularized in the original "Blues Brothers" movie. "No Side of Maybe" is very much a pop-style song. The vocals are very accessible, perhaps too much so for the space rock fan. This is probably the main detraction of this CD, but not one that should stop you from checking this music out.
The majority of playing time focuses on music that simply rocks. The saxophone solos are the true voice of this CD. They sing, shriek, cry, and laugh through a variety of emotions. "As the Sun" has to be my favorite track. The vocals are dark and brooding, as is the saxophone. "Danger Isn't Safe" is a truly progressive cut that comes closest to Hawkwind-style saxophone wildness. I would have preferred this as an instrumental track because the vocals often disturb the flow of the music even though they are well done. play for a wide audience, though, so I suspect the vocals may be well received by the majority of listeners including many space, psych, and prog rock fans. The musical artistry on this CD is well worth experiencing. You can sample a few of the tracks at their website before committing to a purchase.
"NOTHING SHORT OF EXCELLENT"
No guitars for this band- New York based has put together a unique sound without the staple ingredients of rock (ie: guitars, keys). Nope, they don't sound weak either. In fact, they have quite a mighty feel to them, with a 12 string bass, sax, flute, clarinet, pedals, drums, and percussion, the sound is far from being minute. I'm going to compare this album to a surrealistic painting; every element in it is static, but the way those elements are placed make it truly tantalizing to dig in to.
Opening with "Rain Parade," a dark, brooding tune with equally despondent vocals put me in a haze (or should I say trance?) and prepared me for what was to come. The composition is nothing short of excellent in this song, with saxophone accents and plenty of hearty bass.
"Incident," a suite, is alive with its upbeat feel- and Clint Bahr's spare vocals in the first part "Retro-Glide" (it's mostly instrumental) are nothing more than part of the sound here- they aren't meant to be concentrated on. But the second part of the song, titled "Danger isn't Safe" focuses more on the voice. Very well done, but I can't quite comprehend the exact idea of this piece. I believe it is up to the listener to decide on that one.
The flute, courtesy of Keith Gurland, opens "Four Winds." And this is the track on which vocalist Bahr shines- his voice is a bit passive though, as you must listen carefully to get what he is saying.
To me, this album seemed somewhat underproduced, but that could be the sound that was striving for. Definitely unique, definitely creative, and extremely eccentric. If you're looking for something that is way above the mainstream sound, then you've found it.
"FULL SONIC ASSAULT"
SEA OF TRANQUILITY
**** 4-star review
Here's a rather unique CD from New York based , a three-piece ensemble featuring Clint Bahr on vocals, bass, and bass pedals, Keith Gurland on clarinet, flute, sax, bass pedals, and vocals, and Steve Romano on drums. Yes, you read it right, no guitars or keyboards on this CD, but after hearing the full sonic assault that the trio produces, you won't miss these instruments at all.
plays in a style that can best be descibed as similar to Islands or Lizard era King Crimson, which was a combination of light jazz with lots of atmospheric prog, but comes across a bit heavier and complex. Bahr's lead vocals are very much like a young Greg Lake, and his bass playing very intricate, as evidenced by the two-part suite "Incident", which is one of the busier songs on the CD. Other tracks like "Trip the Light" and "Four Winds" are more atmospheric, and feature the melodic woodwinds of Gurland, showing a variety of sounds that would make Mel Collins proud. "Jerome's Spotlight" is a raging jazz-rocker, and has a humorous edge that reminded me a bit of Frank Zappa's later works, and features a rolling bass line, thunderous percussion, and squonking sax work. The band even throws in a dose of jazz-metal on "A Most Logical Position", with the sax and bass so heavy and plodding you'd swear there was a guitar player hiding in the shadows somewhere. The Michael Brecker inspired "Grey Whisper" allows the CD to end on a graceful note, with some poignant, yearning sax work, as this is the only tune that comes close to anything resembling traditional jazz.
This was a very unique listening experience, and I can recommend this CD highly. have come up with a different take on the progressive rock and jazz-fusion genres, and it will be interesting to follow their growth from here.
-Pete Pardo, Editor
Sea of Tranquility
Photo: Fernando Natalici
"A JOLT TO ONE'S REALITY"
This album is the first album from the band named , a trio consisting of vocalist Clint Bahr who plays an assortment of 12, 8 and 4 string bass guitars, pedals, and the Chapman Stick. He is accompanied by Keith Gurland on wind instruments with percussion by Steve Romano.
The album is a very interesting blend of avant-garde styles, and is quite unusual and unique. About the closest description one can reach is that they have a style similar to Gong, which other reviewers have noted. However, the parallels are only on the surface and the music itself is really quite different. The rather psychedelic woodwinds blend in well with the sometimes abrupt and quite disruptive rhythm changes. Now, note that I don't say disruptive in a negative sense, more like a jolt to one's reality, to shake one loose from the ordinary world. The effect is similar to that of a Gentle Giant album. The vocals are well done and overall portray very interesting lyrics, cryptic and yet meaningful, just the way we like them!
From our chats with Clint and studying the website, it sounds like they are taking on some new twists by adding a Chapman Stick to the mix (this album was recorded with the 12-string bass) and we would really like to see this aspect explored further by this band. We'd love to hear this band explore their avant-garde style even further and look forward to their next CD. This was an enjoyable album to listen to, and we've listened to it several times to try to absorb it all - there's a lot going on here. Recommended.
-Bob Zorich, Editor
"JUST PLAIN EXCELLENT"
OF PROGRESSIVE ROCK
's "claim to fame" is that they're a hard-rocking band with no guitars or keyboards. Well, that's slightly bending the truth since bassist Clint Bahr uses 12-string basses and a 10-string Stick to get up into the guitar sonic spectrum, and also uses Moog Taurus Bass Pedals which is just a "keyboard" controlled with the feet instead of the fingers. Okay, they didn't say "no synthesizers", just "no keyboards". Well, don't hold this truth-stretching against them, because the music is just plain excellent.
Originally, I was going to claim that was actually an album created by Camembert Electrique-era Gong members when Daevid Allen and Gilli Smyth were abducted by a flying teapot for awhile. Lacking a vocalist, Didier Malherbe, Christian Tritsch and Pip Pyle drafted a youthful Greg Lake fresh from his stint with King Crimson to do the vocals, and thus was born. Of course, that's just silly (I was accusing them of truth-stretching?) and not really what happened at all. But it does give you an idea of what 's debut CD sounds like. The music isn't really derivative ... I wouldn't be surprised to learn that has never even heard of Gong. But their styles are descended from a common musical background, so they sound similar.
I'll admit, my comparison with Gong is based mostly on the way woodwind player Keith Gurland rocks on saxes, clarinet and flute. The only other person who can play sax like this (outside of the jazz community) is Didier "Bloomdido" Malherbe of Gong, and that's why keeps reminding me of them. Clint Bahr plays bass, though with a 12-string bass, the notes get quite a ways up into the guitar register, though we are spared the standard guitar power chords one might usually hear in a band that rocks this hard. He also sings, and his vocals sound a lot like Greg Lake's, therefore the preceeding description. Both his clear and growl vocal styles resemble Lake's, and this complements the music well.
consider themselves to be primarily a performing band (they do not rely on overdubs to get the thick sound heard on the CD).They're working on a new album.
So if you're looking for an album that really rocks, is quite original sounding, and does not rely on the "traditional" guitar or keyboard sounds to get your heartbeat pumping, is your band! Check out their web site and order a copy of their debut.
-- Fred Trafton
Gibraltar Encyclopedia of Progressive Rock
"TREMENDOUS MUSICAL SKILLS"
by Bill Martin
(Open Court Publishers, 2002 edition )
finds itself between King Crimson and Painkiller (the reeds, bass guitar, and drums trio featuring John Zorn and Bill Laswell), not only because of their instrumentation, but at least partly for that. Updating the progressive rock "power trio" idea, a la Emerson, Lake and Palmer - or, better yet, Back Door, the little-known sax-bass-drums group that was briefly called "the new Cream" in the UK - employ tremendous musical skills rather than overdubs to achieve a large sound.
Clint Bahr's main axe is the 12-string bass which he uses to amazing effect. Along with alto and tenor saxophones, Reed player Keith Gurland adds not only flute but also the rarely-heard (in rock, that is) clarinet to his arsenal. The percussionist seems to combine the syncopation of Bill Bruford with the drum-set-as -orchestra approach of Keith Moon.
Part of the excitement of their self-titled album is that it was produced by the great Genya Ravan (who also sings on one song; she was the singer for one of the best "horn bands" in the 1970s, Ten Wheel Drive.
Some of 's lyrics are wonderfully whimsical, and there has been a debate in this household over whether the line (which you have to hear in context, really, to appreciate) "Danger is danger - it is not safe!" is brilliant, moronic, or somehow both. In the final stages of writing this book, I was informed that will now have a new percussionist.Bill Martin
"FULL MARKS FOR THIS ONE "
I'm afraid even after raiding the band's web site I cannot offer much in the way of a history for . From what I can gather, the band hail from New York and formed sometime around 1998. The core of the band consists of vocalist Clint Bahr, who also plays 12 string bass (no, that's not a typo - I mean 12!), and Keith Gurland, who plays flute and clarinet as well as alto and tenor sax. Clint and Keith also both play bass pedals.
There are many aspects to the sound that strike one as familiar, but this familiarity is always sufficiently vague as to prevent you saying exactly what it reminds you of. The constant variety in the musical flow also means that just when you think you have got it nailed everything changes direction taking you back to square one, and I must say this is an aspect of the music I find particularly appealing.
The choice of instrumentation here gives the music a slightly avant-garde edge, occasionally jazzy, but never crushingly so, and the very fact that the music is heavily into saxophone makes Dave Jackson (Van Der Graaf Generator) an obvious reference point, but there are also aspects of more folk oriented music, reminiscent of Gryphon or Gentle Giant, as well as hints of the UK punk scene of the seventies and eighties. This is in itself another reason why the band work so well for me - despite the fact that they are an American band their sound is, to my mind, distinctly British - or at least European.
The first track 'Rain Parade' gets things underway in file style, with the hard edged new wave vocals set against a slinky bass line, strengthened by sax support, creating a sound very reminiscent of Art of Noise.
By contrast 'Trip the Light' begins in a more lazy fashion and, despite some wild flurries played out neatly on the sax, its approach is deceptively laid back. This changes quite abruptly around the mid point of the piece, as the drums pick up the pace and the sax work becomes frenetic and is delivered very much in the style of VdGG. Although we emerge from here into a a lighter airy section, the track concludes with a return to chaos as the sax lets rip once more to good effect.
One of my favourite pieces on the album is 'No Side of Maybe', which has a lazy shimmering sound reminiscent of progressive bands from the early seventies. The saxophone playing during this number is nicely restrained, and the soft vocals used for the main body of the song contrast well with the firmer upbeat chorus with its catchy melody. The song seems to draw some of its inspiration from the folk rock arena and the flow is smooth and effortless.
Turning things around and showing another facet of the band's approach is 'As the Sun'. This has a much darker mood and the bass injects a disturbed element into the overall sound. There is good variety to the vocals which go with the flow during the main verses, but become much punchier during the refrains - but in the wider scheme of things I cannot help but feel that this track is a little too long winded. In the final analysis however, the track is saved from being an also ran by the brilliant lead sax work which is really quite inspiring.
'Incident (Suite)' really picks up the pace with hard hitting percussion and a fast flowing bass line, topped off by saxophone, before the vocals cut in briefly with a passage that sounds like a variation of the Brahms lullaby - a theme which is soon picked up in the music. The positioning of this motif, particularly when taken in the context with what lies on either side, gives an impression of Emerson Lake and Palmer's 'Endless Enigma', but this is transient as the band quickly move on to explore new avenues. Throughout the track is played in a very tight knit fashion and sax, bass and drums are all given good opportunity to shine.
The very different style of 'Four Winds' seems to be at odds with much of the rest of the album, but nevertheless its inclusion is very welcome. From the outset, the percussion sets up the gentle rhythm that is to be followed, aided by the addition of a soft rising and falling flute pattern. Clint Bahr's vocals, sounding very like Primitive Instinct, carry the main melody and, even though there are times when his voice does not quite hold the note cleanly, particularly on some of the higher peaks, this serves to add to the emotional impact of the piece. As ever Keith Gurland lays down the sax at just the right level to build up the track without hogging the limelight. Full marks for this one!
'Jerome's Spotlight' starts and finishes at a frenzied pace and the forces of chaos are once again ever close at hand. As things appear to settle down a little in the middle of the track, the piece takes on early 70's feel, and the cheeky asides from the saxophone put this one very close to the Gnidrolog sound.
The percussion sets the pace for 'A Most Logical Position' by asserting a very precise rhythm which the bass also spits out. This is perhaps one of the less adventurous tracks on the album by virtue of the fact that it seems to use the most repetition, but it is still very effective, even unsettling at times.
The final track 'Grey Whisper', is a short instrumental piece which brings things back down in an almost balladesque fashion. The bass and percussion are fairly low key, while main melody played out on the alto sax works its magic and leaves us with a warm glowing finish.
Despite the fact that the album features no guitars or keyboards, manage to deliver a sound that is surprisingly complete. Their music is progressive in the true sense of the word - very innovative - and although some of the tracks may not strike the listener immediately, it's only a matter of time before you find that they have worked their way into your subconscious. This is a very strong debut release that shows there is still plenty of scope for progressive music to really move forward.
"MONSTROUSLY POWERFUL"Sid Smith
(author: "In the Court of King Crimson")
My reaction to the music could be summed up in the following phrase. . .Monstrously powerful tracks thrumming with a brooding energy and flamboyant ability. The other version of that sentence would be:
It rocks !Sid Smith
"9.5 OUT OF 10"
I have never really been asked to review a band's CD,but insisted on sending me a CD to listen to and review. They had some clips up on their website that I listened to that perked my interest. is a heavy metal band that consists of Bass, Drums and Sax. Thats it. No guitars, or keyboards. That alone was very interesting..... When I first listened to the CD, I had to remind myself that there were no guitars or keyboards. It sounds VERY full with the instrumentation they have. I didn't miss the "chordal" instruments at all. The band rocks!
I recommend this CD. Incident (Suite) or Four Winds, or Jerome's Spotlight and definitely Grey Whisper are great songs. Keith Gurland plays great! John Klemmer influence? Awesome job Keith, you sound great. I hope the band records more cause the stuff you guys do is very cool. I give it a 9.5 out of 10. (Um, I think Michael Brecker is the only guy who I give 10's to, sorry ;-) ) My favorite track is Grey Whisper, track 9. If you do rock/pop gigs, get this CD and you'll have LOTS of ideas. Keep up the work !Eric Dano
"EXQUISITE AND ENERGETIC"
is an American trio with a quite original line-up consisting of 12 string bass, sax/clarinet/flute and drums, plus bass pedals and vocals. You might think such an instrumentation would give a dull and thin sound, but that is definitely not the fact.The music can be described as a pop version of Van Der Graaf Generator with a touch of psychedelia, catchy and swinging. Keith Gurland's saxes and woodwind are always in the foreground. Clint Bahr's 12 string bass alternates between guitar and bass, and the drummer works frenetically, but still disciplined behind the drums. No Side Of Maybe is a fresh pop tune, while As The Sun gives us a mourning sax melody played over deep,mighty string sounds. Altogether an exquisite and energetic result, and a standout moment on the record.
Gurland manages in an impressive way to always play intelligent melodies, and he makes the music interesting in spite of having the only instruments in the band actually playing melodies. The rather hard instrumental expression combined with a soft vocal give, for example on Incident Suite, an association to 90s King Crimson. The record constantly moves between the raw and heavy and the soft and fragile, and the music is performed with authority and enthusiasm. 's strength is the high standard of musicians and songwriting, and this record is a solid statement of their creativity and musicality.
"ROCK GETS A COLLEGE EDUCATION"ALL ABOUT JAZZ
The trio known as Morphine, enamored many rock fans with its hard-hitting amalgamation of blues-rock pieces led by the late, Mark Sandmans 2-string bass attack. Meanwhile, the New York City-based trio ", reformulates some of these concepts into more of a progressive mold. Here, lead vocalist/12-string bassist, Clint Bahr and woodwind specialist, Keith Gurland both utilize bass pedals for a set, teeming with booming lines and ominously stated choruses. The drummer drives home the pulsating rock rhythms while also augmenting the soloists fervent interplay and circuitous time signatures. However, on this release the musicians conjure up a few well-stated grooves that often hearken back to the early 70s British Canterbury scene.
Through it all, the bands thoroughly refreshing tactics and huge wall of sound provides the mark of distinction. Bass-icaly, the artists combine pop sensibilities along with a thrusting King Crimson style attitude as progressive rock gets a college education here!
Reviewer All About Jazz
Photo courtsey Escape TV.com
"THERE'S NOTHING LIKE IT IN THE WORLD"ECLECTIC MAGAZINE
The American is one advanced rock orchestra. After that there's nothing like it in the world. The reason is , as good a band as it is, uses neither guitars, neither keyboards. The band is comprised only of the clarinet, saxophone, drums, yes, and you've got a 12 stringed bass guitar also. The trio, therefore, has a unique sound that can be vindicated. It is truly advanced rock that they're playing, even though their scoring is totally individual and gives for the whole. The saxophone sound is large enough - his role impressive and slightly jazzy - and that also affects sometimes the image, that is neither too little nor a problem. The music enough is crazy, melodious and interesting, but on several occasions the players go off into such complex solutions, that even though are personal, they have a traditional feel. The sound is also whimsical, but does not give off an unusual scoring at all. The dense construction of the sound makes up for the lack of guitars.
Is it interesting forward moving music - , good, and has its own personal style of performance. Absolutely buy it.Attila Török
Editor Eclectic Magazine
"EXCELLENT & INDISPENSABLE WORK
PROGRESSIVE ROCK & PROGRESSIVE METAL
was born in New York City. What do you think about a Progressive Rock band without Guitars and Keyboards? You can believe that one exists and with impressive musical quality, the name of this band is .
The group is a three-man band whose instrumentation is made up of drums, wind instruments such as flute, clarinet and mainly sax including bass including nice vocals. It is impressive, they do not need guitars and keyboards to make a good Progressive Hard Rock or other kind of music style. The objective of the group is to show that to become good music it is not necessary (to have) many musical instruments, most important is to have talent to be able to express feelings without conventional istruments for certain musical styles where the keyboards and guitars are very impotant. I think it's important to use as reference bands like "King Crimson", "Van Der Graaf Generator", "Gong", "Guru Guru" and also "Robert Fripp" where they have explored mainly wind instruments without change the conceit and mainly proving that they're versatile and innovator. is a unique rock trio that knows (how) to make rock without guitars and keyboards.
"" is the band debut CD including nine tracks, Recorded at Spa Recording Studios - New York, NY, mixed at Paramount Sudios - Los Angeles, CA. I have my special and particular attention to the songs: "Trip The Light", "As The Sun", "Incident (Suite) (a) Retro-Glide, (b) Danger Isn't Safe, "Four Winds", "Jerome's Spotlight" and "A Most Logical Position". are: Clint Bahr - Musicvox 12-String Bass (Ltd. Ed.), Musicvox 12-String Bass, Chapman Stick 10-String, Fernandes 8-String Bass, Ibanez 8-String Bass, Fender Jazz 4-String Bass, Moog Taurus Pedals (2 sets), FX Pedalboard: Morley PWF - Morley DWV - Morley ABY - Electroharmonix Bass Synth - MXR 10 Band EQ - Digitech Bass Whammy - Korg PME - (chorus, analog delay, phaser, compressor) - Boss Overdrive - Boss Analog Delay, 4 HiWatt 100 Watt Amps, 3 HiWatt 4 x 12 Cabs, 1 Acoustic 18" Reflex Cab, Rotosound Strings, E-Bow, Glass Slide, Shure Mics. Keith Gurland - Selmer Mark VII Tenor Sax, Selmer Super Balanced Alto Sax, Buffet Clarinet, Yamaha Flute, Panpipes, DOD - Vo Tec FX Pedal, Morley DWV Pedal, Morley ABY Pedal, Roland PK-5 Pedals, Shure Mics.
Excellent and indispensable work, highly recommendable...
Carlos Alberto Vaz Fereira
Progressive Rock & Progressive Metal
"LEAN, SINEWY COMPLEX ROCK"
REELS OF DREAMS
There are only three guys in the band. Get it? How prog can a three-piece without a keyboardist be? All real prog bands at least include a keyboardist, right? And this band doesn't have a guitarist either! Bass, drums and saxophone, of all things, are basically all you get on this CD, folks. While you might expect this combination of instruments to yield some kind of cheesy Huey Lewis type of '50s rock, or at best, jazz, either supposition would be way off the mark. rocks quite nicely, thank you very much. And they don't leave out the prog either.
Many other unknown modern prog bands have taken the (ch)easy way out when compensating for their lack of members. They've resorted to the use of drum machines or relied too heavily on sequencers and computers to play their music for them. Rather than using such crutches to attempt to reconstruct someone else's played-out vision of progressive rock, (whether by necessity or design) has capitalized on their situation and crafted a unique style of progressive rock out of what many would see as limited resources. The result is lean, sinewy, complex rock propelled by bass riffs and decorated by self-assured, memorable saxophone melodies.
The most distinctive and unique element of 's sound is the saxophone. Keith Gurland's well-honed saxophone skills are always the center of attention on this CD. That may scare some folks away, but even those who generally don't care for horns in their music are likely to be surprised how listenable the sax playing on is. Gurland's playing is appropriately daring for progressive rock, yet it is melodic and well integrated within the each song's structure. He generally avoids the "dirty" sound and excessiveness that can make many saxophonists so annoying. Gurland doesn't abuse the spotlight, though it would be easy for him to do so. His melodies, tone and technique almost instantly call to mind the work of one of prog rock's greatest saxophonists, David Jackson of Van Der Graaf Generator.
The next most important feature in 's sonic palette is Clint Bahr's 12-string bass. Its sharp, distorted tone is reminiscent of that of King's X's Doug Pinnick (a 12-string bass pioneer), but Bahr's technique is more driven by necessity. He strums chords and arpeggios in a rumbly, guitar-like style that fills in the spaces left vacant by the absence of guitar or keys.
Bahr plays the Geddy Lee role by also supplying vocals and a smattering of synth via bass pedals. The timbre of his voice is very agreeable, sounding a little bit like Greg Lake, but with a slightly shaky delivery in more difficult passages.
With the possible exception of the slightly monotonous "A Most Logical Position," there is not a bad song on . However, one stands above the rest in terms of progressiveness. The two-part "Incident" suite is the second longest song on the album at nearly eight minutes. The first part, subtitled "Retro-Glide," is a mostly instrumental, fast-paced rave-up that shows what this band can really do when they cut loose. is a surprisingly good debut album. It deserves a proper release, but you should buy it now to support the band. You won't be sorry. Besides, it will be a collector's item someday.---Scott Hamrick
Reels of Dreams, EditorClint Bahr
Photo courtesy Escape TV.com
"DYNAMIC AND INTENSE"FIRST LIGHT
is a US-based three-man band whose instrumentation is made up of bass, drums and wind instruments such as sax, flute and clarinet.
With a line-up like that, with no guitars or keyboards the sound is bound to be original, and it is. At first I didn´t like it at all, but within a few listens it started sounding better and better until I suddenly found myself enjoying it quite a bit. This trend has continued and the album has slowly but surely grown with every listen.
The sound of the recording is very naked and I feel that it can´t be too far off what they would sound like live, and if that´s the case they´re probably quite a good live act as well.
This is a very original band and I can´t say that I´ve ever heard anything like it before. The music is dynamic and intense, and overall moderately complex. A few references can perhaps be made to bands like Van Der Graaf Generator and King Crimson, but as far as I´m concerned it´s pretty much new and uncharted territory.
To conclude this is better than I thought it would be and for those of you with an open mind it might well be worth exploring. Favourite tracks: Trip The Light and Four Winds.--Joacim Öhlund
Webmaster - First Light
"GUITARS? WE DON'T NEED NO STINKING GUITARS!"
BASS FRONTIERS MAGAZINE
Guitars? We dont need no stinking guitars! Just an 8-string bass, bass pedals, drums and some wind. From the get-go I realized that Clint Bahr (bass), Keith Gurland (sax, clarinet and flute), and the percussionist have something totally unique with . The songs are very deep, sometimes dark, but with cool vocals and lyrics that remind me of Jack Bruce or Roger Daltrey.
"As The Sun" has the hugeness of Clints 8-string bass with Keith playing the sax and bass pedals underneath. "Incident" is a Rock & Roll Suite if there ever was one - beginning with killer double kick, 8-string and sax, creating suspense for the upcoming 7 and a half minute rollercoaster ride! This is the most MUSIC Ive heard come from a trio in a long time. You will surely hear more of in the future. I urge you to give them a listen!---Jim Hyatt, Editor
Bass Frontiers Magazine
Progressive Ears Magazine
When I say that horns flutter like inebriated birds through the music on this CD, I refer not to animal horns, but the unorthodox flights of wind instruments. Keith Gurland appears to have graduated from the University of Wind Instruments, as he plays Clarinet, Flute, and Alto & Tenor Sax. Drums of rolling thunder provide the momentum. Also, in relationship to this band, any reference to the term "space cadet" refers not to the mental ravages of drug abuse or anything dumb, but to bassist Clint Bahr's Musicvox Space Cadet, a 12-string bass guitar. Because this music involves no guitars, no keyboards - not even a synthesizer - it makes for a somewhat anomalous 43 minutes of progressive rock music. On the other hand, despite and because of those absences, this trio and its music can be recommended as experimental. Gurland, Bahr and the percussionist create a lot of unusual music - all original - most of which should please many prog fans. They claim Zappa, King Crimson, Soft Machine, psychedelic music and jazz as major influences.
"Rain Parade" is our first taste of , and an odd taste it is. It starts out sounding as if it we've just stumbled into it on the radio dial and missed very beginning of the intro by a few seconds. It sounds almost cut off at the end, too. The song itself resembles "Rockula," by surf band Los Straitjackets. Those are 3 reasons why I like it. "Incident (Suite)" bursts out of the speakers with sprinting drums and that drunken horn flying all around, which all abruptly give way to "Retro-Glide," a piece that evokes the quieter moments of ELP's "The Endless Enigma (part 1)." This playful duel between these contrasting tempos and melodies continues until "Danger Isn't Safe" plays with both those pieces and goes into its own territory. "A Most Logical Position" is a rocking and wailing march, leading to the mellow finale of "Grey Whisper."
is a sort of multifaceted trio. One might not at all mind the lack of traditional instrumentation. If you do enjoy this sort of thing, it could spill over into revelry. If it does, stay tuned. Their 2nd CD is in the works.---David LilyProgressive Ears Magazine
"THEY CAN ROCK BIG!"
A nice shiny CD showed up here on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, all the way from New York. As a former New Yorker, I was pleased. I then observed that it was an album by a rock trio, thus I was further pleased. I proceeded to read that this was a prog trio, with no keyboards or guitars, and I was puzzled.
is the name of this band, as well as the title of their initial album release, and they progrock it in a slightly different way. consists of Clint Bahr on lead vocals, 12 string bass, and bass pedals, Keith Gurland on alto and tenor sax, clarinet, flute, bass pedals and vocals; plus a drummer/percussionist. The album consists of nine tracks, a smoking blend of rock, jazz, and avant-garde stylings punctuated by energetic vocals, a solid rhythm section, and high-flying instrumentals.
First off, the music is very reliant on strong vocal melodies and lyrics, showcasing Clint Bahrs impressive diversity in tone from track-to-track. The opening song Rain Parade, sounding like early Atomic Rooster and The Doors, features Bahr in fine voice akin to Jim Morrison. In other tracks one can hear echoes of Ian Anderson, John Wetton, and Greg Lake very refreshing to hear, even better that he doesnt go overboard trying to emulate anyone, instead integrating influences into his own strong delivery.
While the album is underpinned with crisp bass work, and steady percussion, the strongest component in the music comes from frontman Keith Gurland. Running the gamut from soulful and dreamy, to downright demonic, Gurlands horns propel the listener through an impressive series of searing solos, with speed, fluidity, and sharp intonation. Whether playing at ever-changing speeds encompassing many expressive moods, or having his sharp gritty sax darting in and around the wall of sound, such mastery of his craft is fun to hear. Hot and jazzy to be sure, but with plenty of prog moves that are reminiscent of early King Crimson, even a few ELP/UK-like moments excepting there are no keyboards, its so texturally different!
Well much like Niacin, they skirt the line between styles, so dont expect a full-blown prog experience. What you will get however, is an album full of big soloing, catchy melodies, and a refreshing brashness to their playing, they can rock big.
Im told that really smokes in the live setting, and to that end, they are planning to tour the East and West coasts of the USA in September, with possible European dates to follow.
In the meantime, if you enjoy lots of horns in your prog, do yourself a favor and pick up the album through their website: www.TriPod-theband.com--Jeff Marx, EditorKarnevilJ Progressive Rock
(Photo by Kathleen Heidemann)
"ENDS MUCH TOO SOON"
THE MUSIC BOX
are a trio based around Clint Bahr on vocals, 8-string bass and bass pedals, Keith Gurland on clarinet, flute, alto and tenor sax, bass pedals, and vocals, and the drummer/ percussionist. The tenor sax gives their sound a nice bottom end and, as you might expect, a jazz-fusion like feel. I'm a sucker for a sax, as I just love the sound of the instrument. ' s sound is quite muscular without resorting to a metal like assault. One of my favourites is light-hearted "No Side of Maybe," which features a catchy chorus: "On the no side of maybe/is where you're going to find me lately..."
"Incident (Suite)" part two, 'Danger Isn't Safe' is ELP with horns - bold and beautiful horns. The ELP aspect comes about in the arrangement and the vocals, which are reminiscent of Black Moon era Greg Lake. "A Most Logical Position" also has an ELP feel about it...well, yes, but for the horns, it could be ELP (mix in early and late periods together). But they aren't ELP clones as these only represent two aspects of a 9-track album.
"Four Winds" is a bit Rush like around the bass, but otherwise not. A trilling flute starts the track, and steps back for the vocals, but never not present. Well, until Gurland switches to the sax. The vocals are a little flat, but not too bad. There is a point, however, where I swear Bahr is trying not to laugh - just that fractional wavering of finding something amusing, but knowing you've got to keep going. Makes me wonder if they recorded this live in the studio as a group...or what the sound engineer was doing as the vocals were being laid down. I'll have to listen much more closely to see if that is true, though.
Oh, and "Grey Whisper" which closes the album is a beautiful sax led instrumental ballad...I'm going to make comparisons to Joshua Redman, whom I quite like when he's playing a more trad jazz style. Yes, this is my favourite track on the album, though it might not be considered progressive. "Jerome's Spotlight" is the only track that doesn't do it for me right away. But once it gets going two and half minutes in, it reminds me of French TV, whom I've just become acquainted with. Unfortunately, after that, it's just about over and so ends much too soon.
I think some comparisons to Zappa can be made, but I'll admit I'm not really familiar enough with Zappa to make that statement. Based on what other people say about Zappa and my impressions...I can see that he might be an influence on some of the pieces here, specifically the opening track "Rain Parade" but others as well.
Visit the site, order their CD, I think you'll enjoy it.
-- Stephanie SollowProgressiveWorld.net
"HEARD NOTHING LIKE THIS"
**** 4-Star Review
is a very unusual progressive rock trio, consisting of bass guitarist/vocalist, drummer and wind instruments player. The latter is a central 'progressive' figure in this formation, as only his virtuostic solos on saxophones and flutes create real arrangements in combination with quite diverse bass guitar themes. Of course, the work of the drummer is also very good, though only his ability to accentuate the changes of themes and tempos plays in such a kind of music some more or less significant role, whereas his mastery jamming just demonstrates his own professional data. I think, even such an unusual prog-formation could play much more adventurous music, but prefer songs with the level of complexity from 'very accessible' to 'moderate'. But, as I love to repeat, I can accept music with lack of complexity if this music is really original. So, such a really good rating in absolute compliance with four rating stars is just confirming my attitude to originality: yes, you've still heard nothing like this.--Vitaly Menshikov
Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages
The Progressive Rock Files
(Collectors Guide Publishing Inc., 2001 edition )
This trio employs no guitars and no keyboards, but with their instrumentation of woodwinds, bass and drums they create a hard-edged progressive rock that is decidedly RIO in nature. Lots of angular moments.--Jerry Lucky
**** 4-Star Review
The lineup of this American trio already promises that this will be a remarkable CD: Clint Bahr on lead vocals, bass and bass pedals; Keith Gurland on wind instruments (including clarinet, flute and various saxes) and additional vocals and bass pedals. No guitar and keyboards whatsoever!
From the first minute of the CD it's clear that this indeed isn't your everyday prog: a pumping rhythm section, steamy saxes and raw prog-punk vocals somewhere between the singers of Midnight Oil and Parallel Or 90 Degrees.
has an amazing level of energy in their music, which surely resembles that of PO90D playing live (those who have seen this band know what I'm talking about). Also the main inspirations of these bands (despite their very different approach and instrumentation) lay in the early seventies. I'd say that at least Van Der Graaf Generator and early King Crimson have left their marks on music, but also jazz (rock) and maybe some Colosseum (after checking their web site it seems that neither VDGG nor Colosseum are real influences, but it still gives a nice idea of the band's sound. - cb)
Large parts of the album are very energetic, at times even furious or heavy (but without guitars), like the wild sax racing with a galloping rhythm section on "Incident (Suite)". However, there's also room for more introspective or softer moments, like on "No Side of Maybe" (with sensitive sax-backing and clarinet solo and an appealing chorus for "Grey Whisper." "Trip the Light" even has some souly female backing vocals by producer Genya Ravan.
I'm looking forward to future work from this talented threesome! Hopefully some label will show interest and give this unique material some proper promotion. And I'd love to see them play live. Hot stuff!
Photo by Alex Solca
Rated 84 Points
"An interesting mixture" I imagined when reading the musician list. The three Americans play progressive skirt without guitar or a key board each to use. How does it work? Outstanding, because by the application of clarinet, flute, alto and tenor sax, these instruments take over their parts. Thus one gets a rather interesting, although self-willed sound. It is witnessed already from its size, if one dares such steps.
Indeed also the arrangements of the Songs of Clint Bahr (vocals, bass, pedal), Keith Gurland (clarinet, flute, saxophones, bass of pedal, vocals) and the drummer show size. By a very full sound of bass comes within short time the Song to along-whip. The numerously used saxophones spread a rather blue-sige atmosphere and spread much feeling.
The sound of the disk is OK, although I can imagine that this trio live rock still substantially more delightful. One listens only to the rather ingenious "Incident (Suite)": The instrument valley part gets under the skin, the more, if one then still the headphones has on. With "Four Winds" one has a Song in the repertoire, based on the classical period, which is abled by the beautiful singing melodies and the mad groove charms. The singing is rather good. One can listen to the pleasant voice of Clint Bahr very well.
Beside the even quite enough potential for a correctly good disk is needed to mention pieces on "No Side Of Maybe" or the dramatic "As The Sun." I want to only call Songs like "Rain Parade" exemplary. Only "A Most Logical Position" falls by its monotonous Beat somewhat from the series.
A synthesis from Prog skirt and Blues very much succeeded to offer the listener the shank. Who looks for really times should invest the cash calmly into these CD. Somewhat habituation-needily is that the guitar or key boards is missing, however develops (after repeated hearing) an atmosphere, which looks its-same up. Desahlb gives it also 84 good points.
CONCLUSION This American trio plays progressive skirt without any guitars or key boards. Instead of this, flutes, clarinette and of saxophone are used. This of gives A unique sound to the band, which is very blues orientated. The songs are showing a high potential. Just would listen to of "Incident (Suite)" and you know what I mean. The instrument valley part has feeling, the more if you would listen to it through your headphones. Another wonderfull song is "Four Winds" which shows classical influences. But too the other songs aren't really bath.
The album of lives by A fantastic groove. My opinion is, that 's sound is very great. The band has huge potential and I think, these songs are the top of an iceberg. 84 POINTS.
--Thorsten Guernt ke
(English summary of German review)
"A REAL DISCOVERY!"
Now here is a really interesting notion - this American trio goes beyond the ordinary by dispensing with the usual guitar and keyboard. In addition to the rhythm section, bassist singer Clint Bahr with the drummer, the major part of the melodic lines are entrusted to Keith Gurland's woodwinds, here on sax, there on clarinet and flute. Given all the elements, it seems clear that the group is stirring up rock with a strong hint of jazz.
The nine cuts on this album give the very different impressions: light, spiraling, meticulous, melancholy, mysterious or joyous, but always very original. In addition, in spite of the lack of the traditional rock instruments, their musical space is so perfectly mastered that there is no impression of anything missing. As far as influences on the trio, look for the in Miles Davis on the jazz side and King Crimson on the progressive side, especially in the bass playing.
With eyes closed, enjoy imagining this group in a smoke-filled New Orleans club with a handful of their aficionados. But what really hits you in this album is the obvious pleasure of playing without constraints, without barriers, and especially to share this pleasure with the listener. And, believe me, they do. A real discovery....--Jean-Marc Roussel
Webmaster and Reviewer
(translated by Bill Moody)
"A SOUND OF ITS OWN!"
Axiom of Choice
The album opens forcefully with "Rain Parade." The vocals are a bit punkish, maybe somewhat Cardiacs-like. The pace is rather high and the saxophone is very prominent. The style of the track is bouncy and tuneful with a freewheeling sax solo in the middle. Regarding the style of music is certainly not typical prog, but a combination of avant garde and alternative rock with plenty of variation. In this way I'm reminded of the Dutch Slice of Merlin (now called Slice) and also a bit of Parallel Or 90 Degrees, although in that case you'd have organ instead of sax.
The sax continues to be prominent on the slow "Trip The Light," that has a fast weird intermezzo on the sax (think of Van Der Graaf Generator's "Lost" here). Lots of intertwined runs and the sax does finally emerge into a melodic theme. The drummer is a good one, giving a good groove to the music. The opening of "No Side of Maybe" also reminds of VDGG. The vocal part being more melodic that usual. A very catchy chorus on this one, could have come straight from Phish (Tweezers anyone?).
The following two tracks are quite long. This first is "As the Sun." Imposing title, promises a lot, the song is one that builds up from mysterious long sax tones and scintillating cymbals. The song is definitely rock in the chorus, with somewhat aggressive vocals by Bahr. I'm reminded of Jump here, because the song is rather straightforward until the sax player starts to play a long meandering solo. Quite intense this solo, a bit of the spirit of King Crimson in there. "Incident (Suite)" is a two-parted piece, the first part of which is "Retro-Glide." This first part is a weird combination of ELP and King Crimson. Full of breaks the vocal part really reminds me of a song by ELP. For the rest, this is mostly mayhem, with a good pace and good interplay. There's a slight funky break in the middle where the music takes on a different guise.
Taking it a bit easy in the mid-tempo "Four Winds," an easy melodic track with flute in place of sax. The vocals have a rather unproduced quality here, the whole of the album sounds a bit live in this respect. This is not meant as criticism. After this somewhat mellow track we come to "Jerome's Spotlight," that serves as an antidote. After a frantic opening we do take some gas back and the music becomes slowly plodding. The music is quite humoristic and sometimes give the impression of being the accompanying music to a comedy. "A Most Logical Position" is also a deliberate piece, but much heavier with some nifty variations besides. The album closes with the short, jazzy, mellow "Grey Whisper."
Conclusion Lots of sax on this one and usually the music is quite intense. The style is not typically prog, but more like a combination of avant-garde and independent rock, mostly reminiscent of bands such as Phish. The production is rather bare and the band plays very well. I like the vocals, but like the production, they are rather bare. Could only think of some incidental other references, because the band does have a sound of its own and the song writing is quite good. A song like "Four Winds" is maybe a bit too mellow, but the compensate well with some thrilly sax parts and odd signatures. --
Axiom of Choice
Webmaster and Reviewer
Photo by Alex Solca
With a voice evoking "Midnight Oil" meets John Wetton and a style á la 'Talking Heads meets King Crimson,' we cannot say that the music of follows the usual progressive conventions. Rather, they diverge and bring new blood to a genre that needs it, the groups dares the nearly impossible... No guitars or keyboards are present in a musical style where they have heretofore been indispensable! Those instruments are replaced by a saxophone, along the Crimson line, and it effectively makes us forget the absence of synthesizers and guitars. It's difficult, therefore, to reproach when they present us with a variety of wind instruments - sax and clarinet solos, which their prestigious forebearers saw only as instruments to be used as harmonizing overlays in addition to the synthesized tapestry of sound.
But in listening to their CD, we sense no fear, no lack, no absence. The whole is perfectly configured so that the lack of traditional instruments is filled with a harmonic mastery equal to the tortured sounds of Robert Fripp... Very good general technique and divine inspiration sometimes to the extreme of the almost jazz-rock YES. We dare to say that all fans of King Crimson will take a certain pleasure in listening to this excellently controlled and well produced CD. is a clean link to the "Court of the Crimson King"... A very good album that will surprise you even more considering the packaging does not look like the traditional cover for music in this genre.
"FULL AND RICH"
GROUND and SKY
Here is an interesting new CD that I received in the mail recently. are a trio from New York. But what makes them unusual is that they don't have a guitarist or keyboardist. Rather the band is made up of a drummer, bassist, and saxophonist (who also plays flute, and clarinet). The band's sound is surprisingly full and rich, due to the use of bass pedals, and busy 8-string bass riffs. Some influences that come to mind include early King Crimson, and Van Der Graaf Generator. Not that they rip-off riffs, and ideas from those two bands. But rather the saxophonist's style (his choice of notes) is very influenced by that era. His playing has a jazzy, and English, style to it that is rare to hear these days. The vocals surprised me at first but over time became enjoyable. They are similar to Greg Lake, and John Wetton's style in King Crimson. And they have such a vintage-quality that I had to check the CD cover to make sure that this album was recorded recently.
The CD contains 9 compositions. Some stand-out tracks include "Rain Parade", which instantly defines "Trip The Light" features a quirky, klezmer-ish, section that is fun to listen to. In fact, out of the nine tracks, I only disliked one track entitled "No Side Of Maybe" due to its ballad-quality. Overall, this CD is a welcome relief in modern prog. It's so great to hear the sax as a lead instrument.
This band utilizes the unusual trio arrangement of a bassist/vocalist, woodwind player, and drummer. The only other rock band I'm aware of to use this sort of set-up was the eccentric Morphine. Comparatively, Tripod's brand of rock is a bit heavier and more ponderous. Keith Gurland's sax lines at one moment lock in with Clint Bahr's bass to accent power chords, the next moment they space out with jazzy licks; this accounts for an occasional resemblance to a Van Der Graaf Generator without the organ, at least at some points. Bahr sounds surprisingly like Greg Lake, and even reminded me of Roger Daltrey on the middle of one track ("As the Sun"). Musically, the album is composed of some great riffing ("Rain Parade"); catchy, short numbers ("No Side of Maybe"); and tracks with more intricate, progphilic passages ("Trip the Light," "Incident (Suite)"). It also has the duff track or two (as Brandon noted, "A Most Logical Position" is painfully overlong), and the overall affair isn't texturally diverse. On the whole, I found this an enjoyable listen, though probably not something I would have sought out on my own.
Everyone likes to harp on how this band has no guitars or keys, and how the sax is the main melodic instrument instead. Okay, so it's a cool novelty group - do they actually write good songs?
Actually, yes. 's sound is a quirky blend of pop, prog, jazz, and funk. On the first half of the album, the blend is very successful in creating something new and fun. The first couple of tracks are very nice - fairly high energy, with the sax playing very catchy melodies. The vocals are pretty good, a mix of modern alternative/punk and classic prog sounds, and meld effectively with the music. My favorite track is the fourth, "As the Sun", which opens with a very classic-prog-sounding build-up with a sound that is, momentarily, very vaguely reminiscent of Happy the Man.
Unfortunately the second half of the album (after the two-part suite in the middle - even in that piece the first half is much better than the second) doesn't quite follow through on the same level. The low point is the extremely tedious "A Most Logical Position", which sees the rhythm section pounding away at the same few notes over and over again (the drumming shows promise at times but for most of the song fades into a regular, and boring, beat).
Overall this album was much better than I expected it to be. It takes its cues from King Crimson's intensity, particularly in some of the sax solos and bass lines, Phish's whimsicality, particularly in the vocals, and fusion and funk in its groove. Not the most evenly successful release ever, but a pleasant surprise and an altogether decent purchase.
"MAJOR ALBUM of 2000!"
Rated 100 out of 100!
Well, this is a strange one but I have to say it's utterly refreshing and utterly magnificent. They say no keyboards or guitars are involved on this album but that it still a big sound, well that is what you get, a Biiiiiiiig sound.
Every opportunity I get, I mention either the lack of female singers or saxophones in progressive rock. Well, I got a lot of Saaaaax here.
The vocals are excellent and full of character and the music occasionally resembles early Roxy Music and Yokeshire, to a certain extent. This music though is firmly in the category of progressive jazz rock and is, in places, similar to Alquin/Solution who both leaned heavily on the saxophone, the latter having no guitar on their first album.
The album opens with "Rain Parade" and what an opening it is, strangely reminiscent of early Roxy Music and right from the onset the big sound is evident.
The magical flute drifts in occasionally, especially on the slower "As the Sun" but, more importantly, listen to that sax. This is mood creating, quite dynamic and aggressive at times. Again the flute pays us a fleeting visit on the melodic "Four Winds" but again that wonderful sax steals the show on this slightly slower, magical composition.
On the superb "No Side of Maybe" an Ian Anderson style vocal just about surfaces while the complex but melodic "Incident (Suite)" is deep in Alquin/Solution territory, while "A Most Logical Position" is reminiscent of Yokeshire, musically and vocally. Big sound here as well as excellent vocals, and again I have to repeat myself and say - listen to that sax. The only time this album goes overboard, on the chaotic jazz side of things, is on "Jerome's Spotlight."
The album ends on the fat too short, soulful sax instrumental "Grey Whisper." So, for everyone who has been waiting for a major progressive jazz/rock album, it has now arrived, miss it at your peril. This is a major album of 2000!
(Photo by Kathleen Heidemann)
"AN INTERESTING RELEASE"
Acid Attack Music
Jazzy tinged psych prog rock from the US. What gives this disc a refreshing angle is the absence of a lead or rhythm guitar. The absence of this most tradition of rock instruments allows some of the focus to fall on the one-man wind section that is Keith Gurland. The sax and flute playing sometimes brings to mind Didier Malherbe's tenure with the immortal Gong whilst the bass parts could grace any of the later King Crimson albums. An interesting release.
Acid Attack Music
It can sometimes be difficult to pick out the quintessence from criticism. In the latest issue of the American magazine Progression, was compared with early King Crimson and praised the dynamic members of the trio, which gets along without guitars or keyboards, with the unusual combination of Clint Bahr (vocals, bass), Keith Gurland (clarinet, flute, saxophone) and the percussionist. Yet the sound leaves a split impression nonetheless.
Surely, belongs roughly to the R.I.O. (Rock in Opposition) movement, also the combination of strong bass and wind instruments and the moderate singing easily permits comparisons with Greg Lake and early King Crimson and does not miss to a certain degree, but the arrangements are less spectacular and more dragging than the one would expect from that review. Moreover, the album is missing a balanced production. Certainly one may not expect spectacular sound in a private pressing, but after sampling it, it sounds tinny.
Yet there are also strong moments in that ignite above everything, with dirty saxophone punches, sophisticated rhythmic structures, dramatic voltages which unload themselves full of pressure and strongly printout. The music of lives on internal tension, melodic and also conciliatory moments, unique to the Americans. There are contiguous or subliminal complexes going on - an abundance of anxiety and fearful threatening. Even only one listening will nevertheless suffice to experience its charm. It is not easy, nevertheless, whom to advise to take this album to the heart. Therefore, I leave it to the reader simply whether he feels addressed by these words.
Conclusion Maybe I expected something else, when I read the review in Progression magazine. Therefore I was a little bit confused, disappointed by the music. But when listening through the album I discovered a strange magic with this unique mixture between early King Crimson and R.I.O. No guitars, no keyboards, but theres nothing missing, because the interplay between brass and the rhythm section is building up the tension. 8 out of 15 points.
"SUPERB AND BALLSY"
Clint Bahr is lead vocals, eight-string bass, bass pedals; and Keith Gurland is clarinet and flute, alto and tenor sax, bass pedals, vocals. Here we've got hard edged, somewhat angry, incisive progressive rock with a bit of RIO and a dash of early Crimson punch.
The reed work is superb and ballsy. Vocals are quite strong and somewhat embittered, with melancholy angst. The compositions are involving and keep you guessing. And isn't that what progressive is all about? A Canadian band, Glueleg, has this band's flow and feel at times. I believe this is one of those releases that could easily grow on you after two or three listens. "Incident (Suite)" shows the King Crimson leanings and incredible bass work is capable of even at pumping, full-force, high-speed rates. These guys hold your attention.
Drum riff and reed duelings were great with the bass kicking back in for crescendo and climactic moments. "Four Winds" is a piece full of great hooks and a certain late-period Horslips leaning. It amazes me how complete and satisfying this band comes across with no guitar at all! The reed and eight-string bass work together perfectly. I was pulled into a swirling and dreamy ballad on "Grey Whisper" that evoked strong Dave Binney and Lost Tribe vibes. Too bad that cut was only a couple of minutes long.
is comfortably recommended - it's a keeper. Do some more, guys.
(USA)has the newest and most influential music that I've heard since I worked with UK. The deliberate lyrics, plus Clint, your bass innovations, along with Keith's musical intensity just kick my ass. Watch out boys, there's a new sheriff in town and they're called .-- Woody Bavota
CEO ESCAPE TV
former lighting designer for UK
**** 4-Star Reviewis a new group from New York that has the peculiarity of not using guitars or keyboards to develop their music. The trio enjoys three great instrumentalists: Clint Bahr (8-string bass, stick, pedals, lead vocals) and Keith Gurland (Sax, flute, clarinet, pedals, vocals). Their music displays a powerful yet lively sound. If we look for references, we could find them mainly in the world of jazz rock (Miles Davis, Soft Machine (from Fourth on), Manfred Mann's Chapter Three), as well as in Frank Zappa's liquid universe and their colleagues from the American West Coast. However, the range of influences is so wide that there are fragments of their music that remind me of artists ranging from RIO, VDGG (from Goldbluff to World Record), and others closer to mainstream pop-rock.
This first release, of 4 minutes, is a very interesting start for a career that I am sure will be long and fruitful. The music they present us, full of energy and big interventions of wind instruments, is very original. In the beginning it surprises, and at the end it provides us with very sweet moments.
The album begins with "Rain Parade" (3:17), a rhythmic piece with an excellent sax work with a brutal solo, that reminds us of Hammill's group speeded up. In these moments we appreciate that the voice of Clint is completely provocative and shameless, as if an aggressive singer decided to play progressive rock, and he makes it with success and good taste! "Trip the Light" (4:32) is a mid-tempo in which the rhythm section is at great level, accompanied by a sax, and continuing with the structures of a jazzy VDGG. "No Side of Maybe" (2:54) is, surprisingly, jazz rock with influences of pop music á la The Beatles, Madness or Blur. It is curious, but it works well. The fourth song, "As the Sun" (8:03) is one of the better tracks of the album. It is developed in a crescendo, starting with a mid-tempo that increases its complexity progressively. It has a great sax solo and a stupendous instrumental finish, with all instruments unleashed.
"Incident" is an excellent piece of a middle length (7:36) divided in two parts. The first one is instrumental, called "Retro-Glide", and moves from a Zappa initial section into territories closer to jazz rock and, after a rhythm change, it reminds me of the RIO sound on Thinking Plague in "Les études d'organism", although this is only a detail. The last section marvels us again, because it offers multiple delicacies and musical motifs, and a spectacular rhythmic section, standing out the bassist's work. The second and last part, "Danger Isn't Safe" is sung and is more aggressive than the first part, presenting a quite fast rhythm. At the end of this song, one can realize that it is another of the best pieces in the album. "Four Winds" (5:26) is a melodic and more standard piece, a little á la Caravan in some passages, and maybe too long, as at the end it becomes too repetitive.
"Jerome's Spotlight" (2:58) is a very dynamic and aggressive track, with a great instrumental work, mainly of the sax. In certain moments it is quite aggressive and with contained provocation. The penultimate piece is titled "A Most Logical Position" (6:11) and presents certain hard rock influences in the development of the rhythm section. The beginning is not very brilliant, but after a change the sound becomes fast and quirky. A great instrumental development that concludes in the semi-hard style of the principle. "Grey Whisper" (2:20) is a beautiful jazz piece, slow and beautiful, with a very brilliant sax that gives colour to an instrumental nocturne piece.
Summarizing, the first album of these New Yorkers offers us many interesting things: ideas and originality, with a sound that doesn't resemble the typical progressive of the last years; a great instrumental work, all three components being very good in their particular fields; and a very promising future, as this album gives hints on the compositional and instrumental quality of the trio. This album is a great work with which to begin a career, because it has a substance that should mature over time and offer us quality works. They are experimenting with their instrumentation and this is excellent. We must follow their track.-- Jaume Pujol