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Perhaps - Volume One CD (album) cover




Post Rock/Math rock

3.94 | 110 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars The debut effort by this Boston trio is currently one of the more conspicuous albums on this site, thanks in large part to some tireless marketing efforts by the band. But credit should really go to the music itself: a phenomenal 38-continuous minutes of arguably the most exciting and visceral instrumental mayhem heard in recent years.

And at times strangely melodic too, despite the non-stop caffeinated energy, led (but by no means dominated) by guitarist Sean McDermott. You may have read comparisons elsewhere to the fleet-fingered calisthenics of Steve Howe, but don't be fooled. The new group's moniker may be a tongue-in-cheek play on the name of Howe's band, expressing a fashionable measure of doubt in place of the more emphatic, upbeat YES. But this isn't Symphonic Prog: it's a concentrated strain of Oppositional Rock closer to the uncompromising spirit of KING CRIMSON at its most FracKtured (imagine a rejuvenated Robert Fripp, letting down what's left of his hair).

The solid but inventive rhythm section of Jim Haney and Don Taylor completes the power trio, but a larger ensemble of guest musicians drifts in and out of the mix, amazingly all recorded live in the studio (using analog equipment, bless their retro hearts). A maniacal saxophone intervenes at one point, and when the solo trumpet appears at the 19-minute mark we're suddenly catapulted into the netherworld of electric MILES DAVIS, with the instrument further subverted by some grungy Space Rock sound treatments, as if a young Brian Eno was let loose in the control booth.

The whole thing might be almost too busy at times. All the frenetic aggression can wear down an unsuspecting listener, at least until the false ending at around 28-minutes, leading to a lovely and (slightly) more disciplined coda, complete with string arrangement...also recorded live?

The music is often astonishing; the stamina of the players even more so. At a more reasonable length it could have been little more than a welcome calling card from an intriguing new band, but the sheer length of the album (without a wasted moment, I should add) pushes it into another dimension altogether. I only hope the trio didn't exhaust all its energy on this one recording.

By all means see for yourself: the full track can be heard on the band's website, accessible from their page here at ProgArchives. To some it might sound like a musical expression of unhinged mental instability. If so, I'm ready to enter the asylum when Volume Two is released.

Neu!mann | 4/5 |


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