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Finneus Gauge - One Inch Of The Fall CD (album) cover

ONE INCH OF THE FALL

Finneus Gauge

 

Eclectic Prog

3.91 | 23 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The ephemeral project Finneus Gauge was a joint venture founded by brothers Christopher and John Buzby right after the demise of Echolyn. "One Inch of the Fall" was the second and last FG album, since soon after the release a somewhat acrimonious break-up took place (the album's title was also a premonition.). Anyway, with the reformation of Echolyn and the formation of Land of Chocolate, both Buzby guys managed to keep themselves busy in the world of art-rock. What can one expect from this band? Well, really a jazz-oriented type of prog rock, not too far from the stance that Echolyn had achieved for their "As the World" album, yet FG is anything but a facsimile of Echolyn. FG likes to focus on the amalgamation of jazz-rock and symphonic-oriented prog in many passages, but that's as far as the Echolyn parallels go. Given the specific inputs brought by singer Laura Martin, bassist Chris Eike and guitarist extraordinaire Scott McGill, it seems obvious just by reading the credits what kind of musical tendency the informed prog listener should expect. The writing and arranging strategies consistently create hard rocking guitar phrases, careful use of weird chord progressions (especially on the keyboard layers and bases), a notorious use of funky-like grooves in the complex rhythm structures (something like Shulman/Weathers-meets-Pastorius/Acu˝a). With the warmth of Laura's timber and style, the melodic motifs are given a special depth above and through the dynamic instrumentations. Canterbury, standardize psychedelic rock, Allan Holdsworth, Gentle Giant, Pastorius- era Weather Report, Thinking Plague - all these individual elements are clearly noticeable as influences for FG. 'Open Up the Fog Lines' opens up the album with splendorous energy. This same energy is retaken yet refurbished with a more controlled dynamics in the following three tracks (arguably, the best section of the album). Fresh and catchy, all three tracks are clearly structured under a calculated scheme. This factor helps to enhance the intrinsic jaw-dropping magic of each McGill solo every time it comes to the fore (his leads on 'Blogee's Lament' are humanly impossible, to quote the eternal maestro Zappa). Christopher Buzby, whose role in this band is less prominent than in Echolyn, also makes our minds boggle every time he displays a solo. 'Unsinkable You' is a rare example of mixing RIO and jazz- rock in a not too inscrutable progressive scheme. 'State of the Art' sounds similar in spirit to tracks 2 & 3, only with a more elaborated melodic approach: this allows Laura to work on the more subtle spaces of her vocal range. After yet another McGill solo, Buzby makes a fabulous impersonation of Kit Watkins: this track's instrumental expansion is another highlight. 'Early Sun' brings an intimate mood, close to the standards of country. 'Golden Pretzel' closes down the album on an aggressive note, with Laura working on her (unusual) rough facet. The instrumentalists shoot a Thinking Plague-meets-Zappa crossfire in order to provide a challenging sophistication to the relatively simplistic compositional basis. This song serves as an adequate closure for a powerful album: Finneus Gauge definitely does not deserve to be forgotten.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |

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