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Where's The Nine - Desensitized to Insanity CD (album) cover


Where's The Nine


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.70 | 13 ratings

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4 stars Review of Where's The Nine's "Desensitized to Insanity" by Chris Otter. December 8th 2008

Having never heard of "Where's The Nine" I proceeded to gather information you may find crucial to the making of this wonderful, quirky, majestic masterpiece. The story began sometime back when Mr Connors and Mr Watson first met..The musical connection was formed while playing together in a prog rock band, they somehow unwittingly sowed the seeds then, for the making of this album. On first listen I felt the influences were evident, and hinting at early E.L.P. King Crimson, Yes, early Santana, early Genesis and even more current influences Porcupine Tree...but in saying this "Where's The Nine" have forged ahead and in my thinking have created something very unique, groundbreakingly different and adventurious. Meeting up again it was only natural they would continue their musical journey initially using email technology, the songs took shape and this time here is the final proof of their collaboration with the making of this album. Released October 1st 2008. Recorded @ "The Chalet By The Lake" in Rosseau and all drums @ "The Dungeon" in Cambridge. Mr Connors plays...Drums,Cymbals,Gongs and Percussion devices. Mr Watson plays...All Keyboards, Guitars and Bass parts. Purely an Instrumental album each track moves seamlessly from one time journey to the next..never boring. Listen, while melodies catch melodies and time frames to time frame, a fusion of prog/jazz/rock is offered here. This album is a " Must Listen To" more than once, for its full potential to be revealed.

Track 1 "A Rather Odd Tribute" 9.03mins Starting like a sci-fi movie soundtrack and building from a dramatic syncopated and solid drum/keyboard driven theme, we are taken into the main riff of the song with swirling and mesmerizing guitar riffs which lead you into a myriad of time themes, double times and little journey's and back again as new change occurs. An arsenal of cymbals must have been used here and fits perfectly around the quirky keyboard passages and bass driven charges. The mood of this track fluctuates and you wait to see where your taken next and briefly a return to our main and underlying guitar riff, which comes to end again nicely on what must be the only voice passage on the album replaying as if from your radio. Clever use of cowbells..double times..loved those little keyboard solo's which reminded me of early "Santana" too, and that clever end to the song.

Track 2 "Mood Swings" 6.07mins The mood is set very early here as the name suggests..hauntingly beautiful but it changes and builds into a nice 4 and 5 time pattern and Mr Watson punctuates the mood further with soaring keyboards elevating you further within the song to a clean stop before Mr Connors begins his percussive build..bass keys following strongly into accented time and building the song quite intensely on this theme Mr Connors proves how effective speed within slow time can be, all the while protecting the syncopated feel of the song. Guitar now starts and takes you deeper into Mood Swings as Mr Watson also demonstrates his prowess on guitar and his solo weaves and winds you down to the end..beautifully. Blindingly fast drum fills..and some very nice guitar here.

Track 3 "Half Of Eighteen" 9.0mins(get it) A swathe of Keyboards begins this track and quickly Mr Connors sets the feel behind Mr Watson's stab notes and proceeding carefully they both pull you along with them while the feel builds and further changes into Mr Watsons first long keyboard solo..bending and stretching the notes he fluently coaxes.. winding around and over you he goes, into harmony within harmony, compellingly changing further into a clever and now driving soundscape of big brass stabs and cunningly it all changes again..Mr Connors can easily follow this and He does. Nice use of keyboard notes on top of notes almost off- key but perfectly placed..there is no right or wrong here just good sounds. Full stop again as Mr Watson calls again and into another well placed solo He again draws you along with him..what time is this..Well...It's Half Of Eighteen, as we return to the well crafted introduction. I'm loving this tracks very clever use of percussive feels (never heard Hi-Hats sound sooo Fat) and again Mr Watsons clever use of sound patterns.

Track 4 "Threw The Looking Glass" 8.23mins I noted the spelling of "Threw" here and thought a mistake was made but on listening of this track you'll get it...I hope Little sparkly things start this song and again Mr Connors begins with percussive introduction and broken time as the bass follows along vibrantly and calling for Mr Watson to join in to which he does slowly building the song and punctuating it further with more witty keyboard play, to and fro into more little time quirks then the fingerwork of Mr Watson takes over also proving speed and agility over a nice groove can work.. oh, so well...a very jazzy and yet tasteful feel has been achieved here and is interjected occasionally with brief pauses but wait they all follow down into an abrupt and sudden change..guitar now taking the reigns as all follow..Mr Connors follows the riffing closely then all is taken over as Mr Watson's keyboards brings about further change as we head into a very tasty guitar solo with more keyboard thrown into the mix as they both playfully venture into new ground bouncing solo's off each other until finally it all eases to a pause and further change back to our driving riff punctuated by all until a deep melotron sound takes over and the whole feel changes..Mr Watson demonstraing further prowess takes the lead in creating another nice groove, and just as suddenly we are taken back to the main theme of the song which drives us to the long and interesting slow fade. Nice and crunchy guitar work..some well played keyboards all held together by Mr Percuss

Track 5 "2 Days Left" 5.42mins Again a play on words...Mr Connors builds on this track with some pretty fast and furious snare, double kick drum patterns...taking you into a zig-zaged driving pattern with more dropped beats..a build of times and sounds to add to the already existing main theme to a complete stop, and Mr Watson to begin his very open solo while bass and drums maintain a strong emphasis...back to the main theme we go but only briefly as another time pattern occurs..this time with more heavy brass leading the charge and again into another change as guitar now takes the lead as all follow into a downward spiral pattern all the time Mr Connors contributing some very exciting drum forays..Mr Watson now takes the charge but only briefly as Mr Connors conjures some more clever time and beat as we return to the brass assault and more builds to our main intro theme which adds all and everything we have previously heard. Brilliant! Drum work amazing..loved the huge brass sounds and clever use of times.

Track 6 "Lethargic Waltz" 7.11mins Not quite a waltz..a dark mysterious feel is the main focus here...but is quickly taken over by a new vibrant pattern which halts and returns you to the d.m.f. with Mr Watson demonstrating further his virtuosity on keyboards as he and Mr Connors create a somewhat eerie but exciting feel..but suddenly and just as quickly we are taken into further and differing passages..a nice vibrant feel with dropped beats is a very cool passage and Mr Watson's keyboard sounds and solo remain interesting and draw you along with screaming guitars and twisted notes.. and even some shredding which builds to another nice groove and finishing cleverly on Marimba. Lots of subtleties..nice keyboard solo's, guitar shreds.. and that clever little Marimba end.

Track 7 "She's Furious" 5.12mins The mood is set very directly here, as we are taken on another Watson/Connors time journey..carefully adding more and more layers we arrive now at guitars emphasising the rhythms further while all the while helping to create the bouncy ride of time progressions we are taken on.. mood changing again as guitars take over the story and tells it beautifully in what must the longest guitar solo on this album..Mr Connors now takes us through a beat passage to bring about further change as Mr Watson now moves in to create another complete feel change as guitar takes the drive again and all follow as Mr Watson now adds his moody... moogy type solo under the changing patterns of guitar, bass and drums...effortlessly we are back to the main story behind the song and again building it to it's "Furious" ending. Standouts here must be...the buiding and layering of the song..and the moogy type solo..the rhythms also cleverly arranged..nice ending too.

Track 8 "The Camera's Ear" 7.12mins Starting very directly with keyboards..and fading to another broken time with distorted keyboards..what time sig is this?? DRAMATIC!! stuff here...huge crashing keyboards and building patterns..all the while maintaining this quirky and very interesting mood..however it just as suddenly changes as we are now hearing a faster 4/4ish time change under another guitar solo..Whoops! (I think Mr Connors just dropped his glass of ?) which interrupts the mood again quite cleverly and into another time charge we go, for Mr Watson to solo through with little answering key stabs we travel the groove changing slowly as guitars and Mr Connors now takes it to a complete change for Mr Watson to place another short clever piano passage... again we now hear our rhythm section driving further change into an aggressive but rocky passage punctuated by keyboard and brass we go, as it's built again and again...and finally back to it's Dramatic climax. I loved Mr Connors playing especially on this track..the clever glassish change...the time signatures in this song and the quirky and very clever keyboard sounds...A Dramatic masterpiece to end on.

On A Personal Note: I loved reviewing this album as more and more these songs have endeliblized themselves on me and I would just love to see this album taken out on the road for all to hear it's remarkable, dramatic, majestic and clever sounds and rhythms. A brilliant 1st album for "Where's The Nine"..lets hope we will hear more, from this clever partnership of drums and keyboards.

Crislis | 4/5 |


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