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DOWN WITH GRAVITY

Forever Einstein

RIO/Avant-Prog


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Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
1 stars I purchased this group's 'Down With Gravity' CD with anticipation on some good press. I suppose, by definition, it is progressive rock but the sound is much more reminiscent of an experimental garage band with a sense of play and a taste for surf music. This is not what I crave in the progressive rock and fusion I seek out and, even after several listens, these guys just left me in a hazy fog. Maybe another of Forever Einstein's records would sway me but for now, I can't in good conscience recommend them to anyone.

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Send comments to Atavachron (BETA) | Report this review (#94386)
Posted Friday, October 13, 2006 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
4 stars 3.5 stars, but exceptionally I'll round it up to 4

Well, a long time had gone since a new FE album arrived on the vendors' lists with the previous OTAA, but they followed up quickly with this one. Bassist Jack Vees is now fully integrated in the group and he shines throughout the album, but this doesn't audibly affect the group's general sound or musical direction. On the other hand, there are much less tracks than usual, although they still retain strange and funny titles, thus making them (sometimes much longer, such as the 20-mins Fruit Pie Salesman.

Roughly speaking, the typical FE paw is still very much present, with 80's Crimson and Frippian influences, a strange kind of humour between Zappa's senses of instrumental pastiche, Miriodor-type of melodies and French TV's surf and rockabilly influences, very obvious in the opening part of closing track Better Be Early. Conceding taking much inspiration from TV shows themes, jingles and interludes., FE strives to be unpredictable, and usually manages it well enough, until the usual saturation level is reached around the mark of the album. Among the unusual trick in their tracks is a drum solo accompanying an Einstein speech on Relativity (Tell The Little Man), ending in snores, before an entrance door bell chimes, rolling in the afore-mentioned 20-mins Fruit Pie Salesman and its Frippian guitar arpeggios, which are overstaying a bit their welcome (8 minutes) saved by a great intuitive bass, before pulling a solid (and rare) solo stuck between Hendrix and Pinhas, then a McLaughlin-like jazzy interlude before returning to, the Frippian arpeggios. If O'meara remains himself, the brilliant frontman, switching between all his guitars andc effects, tapes and loops, and Vees pulls in some fine moments, it is drummer Roulat that finds his glory moments such as in Cut The Soles Off My Shoes. After a surf-music intro, Better Be Early moves into a deadly Heldon-like mid-section, before returning to surfing occupations.

Like all other FE albums, DWG exudes much fun and toys around with your brains, but also wears you out, with the sheer repetition of constantly shifting tracks. A very cool album, but like all FE albums, it doesn't manage to stand out anymore than previous efforts of theirs, but it is difficult to find a group that maintains such a constancy, outside the pure RIO realm.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#162295)
Posted Thursday, February 21, 2008 | Review Permalink

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