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Centric Jones - The Antikythera Method CD (album) cover

THE ANTIKYTHERA METHOD

Centric Jones

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.71 | 18 ratings

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tszirmay
Special Collaborator
Crossover Team
4 stars Centric Jones is the latest project from Chris Fournier, a US prog veteran multi- instrumentalist whose previous endeavor was named Fonya,(1992-2000) releasing a series of seven albums but alas, nothing mind-blowing.This, on the other hand, is a much more refined package, from the groovy cover art onward, incorporating the usual space rock tendencies with some serious King Crimson influences (mostly the drumming), the whispering female vocals, some Squire-like up-front bass rumbles and some nifty shifts and contrasts. But it's the mellotron that takes centre stage and it leaves its mark throughout the album.

"Crushed" opens the ball with a shimmering lullaby, with a strong hint of Sensation's Fix in the clanking guitar riffs, with added support from the trembling violin synths and the haunting, celestial vocals. Ominous and memorable mellotronic introduction.

The tremendous "Shadow Song" is a breezy affair with loads of rhythmic revs, mellotrons galore amid the fluttering synths, booming bass anchoring the rock steady beat and finally, an omnipresent lead guitar. The wispy vocals convey an air of electronic tranquility amid the Yes-like atmosphere, strengthened by a serene middle section that is extraordinarily catchy. Drummer Tobe London demonstrates some Brufordian zeal while Fournier sizzles on both bass, guitar and keys.

The surreal 7 minute+ "All for One" introduces a piano-driven melancholia which is vividly conceived and articulated with delicacy and balance. The rubbery bass slithers and the fuzzy axe sprays some fine filaments into the cosmic keyboard-laden atmosphere. When least expected, a Fripp-like guitar bulldozer onslaught shuffles mightily into play, the glorious choir mellotron ablaze and pulsating with verve as the arrangement reverts back to the piano's ornate elegance. Then, the two extremes coalesce into some insane gloom and doom, London pounding hard and fast, while the guitar groans into the night.

"Boomer" is perhaps an apt-title for this merciless submarine attack track, heavy and powerful, sonic missile and aural torpedo ?laden with devastating firepower, rifling aquatic synths and raging guitar cascades litter the soundscape. The King Crimson LTiA period is lovingly conveyed in the slick but brutal delivery, with plenty of down time, such as those unexpected pools of reflective sonic serenity and some howling guitar solos.

"Dream in Threes" is another 6 minute dissonant pounder, deeply abysmal in its blurred insanity, playful and yet nightmarish but way more oblique and avant-garde than expected. Laurie Larson's vocals remain fleeting and vaporous which only adds to the angst, the rash guitar being ordained along by a buzzing organ, certainly not as catchy and immediate as the previous tracks.

The concise yet quixotic "Pyrrhic Victory" keeps things glimmering along, a sweeping electronic/space ditty featuring some astounding drumming from Tobe London, a Cobham- Bruford hybrid of blistering attack and polyrhythmic substance.

The overtly symphonic "Fading Time" elevates the synthesizers to the center stage, weaving a complex pattern of space rock with grooves galore, dispositional shifts and gigantic mellotron clouds. The slippery guitars clang and slither wherever needed, greedy when hungry for attention and serene only when the atmosphere so dictates. Very nice indeed.

"Morphogenic" returns to the ethereal voice pillows and the mellotron duvets, spiced by some bubbly synth patterns, burping bass and exotic drum fills. The mood almost reaches Dead Can Dance, Bel Canto or This Mortal Coil territory but with a unambiguous harder edge, as well as trembling orchestral embellishments.

The seductive "Save Me" proposes a slight North African lilt to the modern electronic space rock formula, a whirling dervish guitar lead and some sandstorm whipped bass and drum torrents waddle through the howling symphonics with powerful effect. More delightful contrasts abound, going from one sonic extreme to another with effortless ease. The main axe solo is plain deadly. Somber is the night as "Then" rumbles into the fray, a claustrophobic, vocally induced reverie that is odd, perplexing and yet appealing. Mellotrons dominate with pugnacious bass and drum work once again. Foraging synths, screaming guitars and general chaos abound.

"Pulse" has an almost punky attitude, probably a more radio-friendly piece to lighten up the proceedings and as such works well in the context of what this band wants and wishes to express. It's instantly attractive, easily memorable and pulsating with obvious enjoyment.

The luscious title track finishes off this successful debut, which I hope will usher in more future progenies, as this is miles ahead of anything Fonya put together. The piece is another pulverizer, jangling guits, whopping drums and enormous walls of mellotronic sound.

All in all, a surprisingly enjoyable space prog exercise that deserves more attention. Chris Fournier is versatile and talented enough to further explore this avenue and provide another stellar album like this one. Needless to say again, the drumming alone is worth the purchase.

4.5 egotistic Bowies.

tszirmay | 4/5 |

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