Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


RIO/Avant-Prog • United States

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Toby Driver picture
Toby Driver biography
Born 1978-09-29 (Meriden, Connecticut, USA)

Best known as the frontman, guitarist and composer for avant-garde metal band Maudlin of the Well and their new incarnation Kayo Dot, Toby Driver has consistently proven himself to be one of the most unique songwriters in modern music. His debut solo album In the L..L..Library Loft was created as a means of expressing his more out there ideas which he feels wouldn't have been compatible with Kayo Dot. Most of his bandmates appear as guests on the album, which focuses more on bleak ambience than metal (despite some extremely noisy sections), effectively sounding completely unique and extremely avant-garde.

Photo by Christopher Harrington

Why this artist must be listed in
In part for completion's sake (seeing as how his two bands are here), in part because his solo material should be easily likeable for fans of the more experimental regions of prog.

See also:
- Tartar Lamb

TOBY DRIVER Videos (YouTube and more)

Showing only random 3 | Search and add more videos to TOBY DRIVER


$43.41 (used)
Flenser 2017
$10.78 (used)
In the L..L..Library Loft by Toby Driver (2005-10-18)In the L..L..Library Loft by Toby Driver (2005-10-18)
Tzadik (2005-10-18)
Driver, Toby In The L..L..Library Loft Mainstream JazzDriver, Toby In The L..L..Library Loft Mainstream Jazz
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Toby Driver - In The Li Li Library Loft (CD Used Very Good) USD $13.68 Buy It Now 1 day
Toby Driver - They Are The Shield (NEW VINYL LP) USD $34.36 Buy It Now 1 day
Toby Driver - They Are The Shield (NEW CD DIGI) USD $18.16 Buy It Now 1 day
Kayo Dot - Gamma Knife - CD - *Toby Driver - Maudlin Of The Well - Coyote* USD $8.19 Buy It Now 2 days
Toby Driver They Are The Shield Vinyl LP NEW sealed USD $37.58 Buy It Now 3 days
VAURA - Selenelion - 2LP - Used - Toby Driver - Kayo Dot - Maudlin of the Well USD $50.00 [0 bids]
7 days
Toby Driver-Madonnawhore CD NEW USD $17.22 Buy It Now 8 days
Toby Driver Madonnawhore Vinyl LP NEW sealed USD $35.45 Buy It Now 11 days
Toby Driver - Madonnawhore [New CD] USD $18.84 Buy It Now 12 days
Toby Driver - Driver, Toby : In the Li Li Library Loft [New CD] USD $21.28 Buy It Now 12 days
Toby Driver - Madonnawhore [New Vinyl LP] USD $20.85 Buy It Now 12 days
Toby Driver - Madonnawhore Vinyl LP USD $24.95 Buy It Now 14 days
Toby Driver-Madonnawhore CD NEW USD $15.23 Buy It Now 15 days
Toby Driver Madonnawhore CD USD $17.95 Buy It Now 15 days
Madonnawhore - Toby Driver (Vinyl New) USD $23.54 Buy It Now 18 days
Toby Driver: In The L..L..Library Loft CD 2005 Kayo Dot Tzadik Records TZ 8019 USD $9.95 Buy It Now 18 days
Toby Driver - Driver, Toby : In the Li Li Library Loft [New CD] USD $15.68 Buy It Now 19 days
Madonnawhore by Toby Driver: New USD $15.22 Buy It Now 20 days
Toby Driver-In the Li Li Library Loft CD NEW USD $18.83 Buy It Now 22 days
Toby Driver - Madonnawhore (CD Used Very Good) USD $13.77 Buy It Now 23 days
Toby Driver - Madonnawhore [New CD] USD $15.54 Buy It Now 23 days
Toby Driver - They Are The Shield VINYL LP USD $25.49 Buy It Now 25 days
Toby Driver: Madonnawhore CD 2016 Kayo Dot Solo The Flenser USA FR73 Digisleeve USD $9.95 Buy It Now 27 days
Toby Driver - Madonnawhore 647603397313 (Vinyl Used Very Good) USD $18.85 Buy It Now 29 days

More places to buy TOBY DRIVER music online Buy TOBY DRIVER & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

TOBY DRIVER discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

TOBY DRIVER top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.70 | 36 ratings
In The L..L..Library Loft
3.84 | 51 ratings
3.92 | 40 ratings
They Are The Shield

TOBY DRIVER Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 1 ratings
Live at Roulette, March 2017.

TOBY DRIVER Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

TOBY DRIVER Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

TOBY DRIVER Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.50 | 2 ratings
The Pod
1.86 | 5 ratings


Showing last 10 reviews only
 They Are The Shield by DRIVER, TOBY album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.92 | 40 ratings

They Are The Shield
Toby Driver RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by LakeGlade12

5 stars 4.8 Stars. Wonderful violin driven Prog

Sometimes it takes something special to bring oneself out of their self-imposed exile. In my case a full time job plus PhD and other work related commitments has left me with no time or energy for reviewing music. However its albums such as this one that are too good to give a 1-5 star rating to and move on. This album has left me completely captivated with its wonderful arrangements and with no reviews on this site I knew it was time to step out.

If you look though Toby's every expanding catalogue of avant-garde music, you will only find a handful of songs that can be considered beautiful and warm from start to finish. Even his softer albums such as Part the Second or Madonawhore are too caught up in their experimental ideas or cold minimalism respectively to ever consistently pull at the heart strings. The press release for this album stated it as Maudlin without the metal, or Kayo Dot without the chaos, which is a appropriate description, but it does not show how much Toby has stepped out of his comfort zone to create such a deliberately beautiful record. It is however important to note that for all the beauty on display this is still a full-blown Prog album with plenty of complex and experimental ideas to be found.

What will immediately stand out from first listen is how the strings dictate the structure and flow of the entire album. Ever since Mia fully left Kayo Dot after Hubardo we have not had any tracks with any form of strings, and it seems Toby has been growing a large stockpile of ideas since then. In many ways They are the Shield (TATS) can be seen as the successor of Mauldin's Part the Second, which up till now was his most string-dominated album. But TATS takes it to a completely new level, with some of the best arrangements I have ever heard.

For the most part TATS is a slow and fairly ambient album, but there are enough exceptions to keep it from dragging. 470 nanometers playfully shifts around and is full of energy that is ready to break out. The outros of The Knot and Glyph are full of emotion and spectacular arrangements that grasp my full attention. Despite TATS's mostly laidback tempo this 43 minute album flies by and never drops in quality, something I can only say about to a small number of albums.

I can keep going but I think I have said everything that needs to be said about this album. The only other important thing to note is that it is right now free on Bandcamp (name your price) so there is no excuse for not giving this album a try. This is a special album that I will be coming back to for many years to come, and can be ranked with Toby Driver's best material.

And now I return to my exile...

 Madonnawhore by DRIVER, TOBY album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.84 | 51 ratings

Toby Driver RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Prog-jester
Prog Reviewer

5 stars This must be Toby's best record since "Dowsing...", I kid you not. Intricate and gentle, filled with nuances, a kind of record where silence in between the chords and melodies means as much, if more. It flows naturally, creating this beaituful feeling of bliss with a hint of disturbia thrown in. Just enough to keep you awake.

Imagine later-day TALK TALK covering later-day SCOTT WALKER... wait, no, take KING CRIMSON's "Islands" and make it even more mellow AND creepy... wait, not exactly. Avant-AOR? Jazz-slowcore? Don't know, don't care - just a great and inspired material fromone of the most innovative musicians of our time. This is how pop music should be like in XXIth century

 Ichneumonidae by DRIVER, TOBY album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2014
1.86 | 5 ratings

Toby Driver RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by LakeGlade12

1 stars 1.5 Stars. An incomplete and unsolvable piece of art.

Ichneumonidae is a album with quite a big backstory. This was a side project from Kayo Dot leader Toby Driver where he wanted to try his hand with a completely different genre to his usual Avant-Prog; writing music for a ballet. He launched a Kickstarter campaign back in 2012 where Toby would compose the music and provide electric guitars, Timba Harris and Russell Greenberg would provide violin and percussion respectively and lastly Michelle Morinaga would create the dance choreography and perform the dance piece. The project was successfully funded and everything seemed to be going well.

The music itself was quickly composed and a teaser of Morinaga's dance was released for the album's third track. But this is where things went badly wrong, the project got delayed month after month until eventually Toby got desperate and released the audio only part of the project to keep the funders happy. But after that there was no progress made and 4 years after the project started the dance part will probably never be released. The problem is that Ichneumonidae, like all ballets, was made to fit and complement the dance choreography and was never designed to be judged on its own merit.

So knowing that Ichneumonidae is currently only a shadow of what it was originally meant to be, how does it sound? Ichneumonidae can best be seen as a hybrid between more abstract classical music and the more introverted avant-soundscapes Toby has come up in the past (think Tata Lamb, Stained Glass EP and the ending of Amaranth the Peddler). In other words this is quiet, slow, detailed but completely without melody or anything found in conventional music. The album is prone to sudden bursts of violin solos or random sound effects, but for the most part drifts along without much features or highlights. There is nothing to distinguish the first two songs at all and it would be impossible to state when the first song ends and the other begins. The only exception being the final track which is a aggressive and focused classical piece, which I see as the best track easily.

There is a 2 min video of dance being matched with either track 1 or 2 of the ballet (I can't tell the difference between the two) to see what the album could have been. In it you see Morinaga slowly twisting and coiling herself with white balloons above her. As someone who does not pay much attention to dance this is quite alien to me, but I can see how this abstract dancing works well with the music and they are definitely strengthened by each other.

To conclude the music itself is worthy of 2 stars. It makes for pleasant background listening and is nice to listen to when I'm in a very introverted kind of mood. But except for the third track there is literally nothing memorable about the album at all. However I'm purposely going to be harsh and give it 1 star. The reason being not only is Ichneumonidae an incomplete artistic expression, but a failure to the Kickstarter funders who paid for a dance film, not a mini-album. We cannot know if Toby is to blame for not committing the time for the project to come about, or if it was Morinaga who never finished her choreography. In the end it does not matter, as a failure to communicate to the funders has left this project into apparently permanent limbo. Ichneumonidae is both an artistic and PR black mark on everyone who was involved in the project and for that reason deserves 1 star. Should the film ever be released I will reassess my current rating, but until that happens it will permanently be 1 star.

 In The L..L..Library Loft by DRIVER, TOBY album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.70 | 36 ratings

In The L..L..Library Loft
Toby Driver RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Anthony H.
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Toby Driver: In the L..L..Library Loft [2005]

Rating: 9/10

A hauntingly gorgeous trip into hitherto-unknown dissonant atmospheres - not for the faint of heart.

This first solo album from acclaimed avant-grade composer Toby Driver is a masterpiece of minimalism, ambience, experimentalism, post-modernism, musique-concrete, and I-don't-even-know-what. The term "acquired taste" is a bit of an understatement here. Toby Driver's music certainly isn't known for its accessibility, and this album is no exception. Toby is no stranger to minimalism; almost all of his material over the past few years has been dominated by it. For the most part, though, much of his work in this style hasn't done a whole lot for me (Kayo Dot's Blue Lambency Downward and the two Tartar Lamb releases, to be specific). However, I'm left rather speechless by this solo effort. In the L..L..Library Loft is an unrelentingly dark journey into some sort of avant-garde nightmare. Unlike many artists who try to be "dark", the blackness of this album actually feels genuine. Needless to say, this unsettling piece of work is not for everyone.

"Kandu vs. Corky (Horrorca)" opens the album with chimes, quickly leading into horror ambience. Toby performs some quiet vocals, and brass instrumentation adds to the ambience. A percussive section comes in that reminds me of the sound a rubber ball makes when it's bounced on a table. The last six minutes of this track are the most unsettling on the album, and that is saying something. Toby lays down some absolutely deranged, tortured moans and screams over the top of pulsating crescendos. This is insane stuff. "The Lugubrious Library Loft" begins with some quiet vocals that build into a feedback-heavy storm. Strings add to the craziness. This is the only piece of the album that references Toby's metal roots at all. "Brown Light Upon Us" is a seventeen-minute dark ambient soundscape. Parts of this piece are nothing less than stunningly gorgeous. This track is pure atmospherics, so I won't try describing it in detail. It's great to listen to in the dark, and parts of it strongly remind me of Tangerine Dream's Zeit. "Eptaceros" continues with more beautiful dark ambience. Toby's understated vocals return and the lyrics are poetically disturbing. This is a beautiful end to a beautiful album.

Dark ambient isn't a genre I have a particular love for, but I can't help being fascinated with this album. To be fair, In the L..L..Library Loft doesn't have the universal appeal that many other of my masterpiece-level albums possess. I'm not always in the mood for an album like this. However, considering what this album is, I can think of very few like it that manage to supersede it. This is quite possibly the greatest album I've ever heard within this genre. This album has a specific goal: to create an atmosphere and evoke a mood. It achieves this goal so remarkably well that it's difficult not to give this a masterpiece rating. A word of warning, though: this is a "you get it or you don't" album. I can't guarantee that this album will evoke the moods within you that it's supposed to. Thus, even though this album is an objectively good album when one looks at it within the context of its genre, its appeal is almost completely subjective. Regardless, if most open-minded music listeners allow In the L..L..Library Loft grow on them, they will at least be able to gain an appreciation for this subtle masterpiece.

 In The L..L..Library Loft by DRIVER, TOBY album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.70 | 36 ratings

In The L..L..Library Loft
Toby Driver RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by The Sleepwalker
Prog Reviewer

5 stars In the L..L..Library Loft, Toby Driver's first and only solo album up to date, is a mind- wrenching trip through some menacing nightmare. On this album, Toby Driver focuses completely on creating a brooding atmosphere with minimalist compositions, that all take their time to carefully guide you around the horrendous library loft. It leaves you not a second to feel at ease.

No, the album's atmosphere is an incredibly intense one. It revolves about dissonance, tension and madness. This formula makes the album a very useasy listen. That, to me, is what makes this album such a magnificent thing. Most of the compositions begin quietly, but gradually lead to climaxes that make you want to seize your head tighly with your hands and swing it around frantically hoping all this menace will end. Well, I overreacted a bit there, but there are several moments on the album where I do feel a great discomfort indeed.

I will not go into detail with the different compositions on the album, but all of them have a certain uniqueness. This might also have to do something with the very interesting musicianship on here. Toby Driver wanted to experiment with unconventional ways of making music on each of the four compositions. This resulted in for example one piece featuring instruments that were played by two persons at the same time (including vocals) and a piece that was recorded from another room than the one in which it was performed.

Interesting as well is that the album is very different from anything else Toby Driver has done. Again, the structures of the compositions are less dynamic and the album is more minimalist than anything of Kayo Dot or Maudlin of the Well, but also the climaxes, which can be quite heavy at times, are very different. They tend to focus on fear inducing noise and intense dissonance more than the climaxes of Maudlin of the Well and Kayo Dot.

I don't think the dissonant minimalist atmosphere here will appeal many people, simply because it does not have much dynamics. Even compared to a band like Kayo Dot, which gets quite slow at pace at times as well. Nevertheless, those who feel like they can deal with minimalist mind-rape and perhaps are somewhat familiar with Toby Driver's output with other bands won't do any bad by at least giving this a try. My prefered way of listening to this album is after midnight in candlelight, which I suppose enhances the album's intensity.

 In The L..L..Library Loft by DRIVER, TOBY album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.70 | 36 ratings

In The L..L..Library Loft
Toby Driver RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Equality 7-2521

4 stars People often describe Toby Driver's solo album as a means for him to introduce compositions that are too abstract for Kayo Dot. While I certainly agree that the pieces here would seem foreign on a Kayo Dot album, I must say that instead of being merely oddball tracks, these serve as a creative outlet wholly different than his other bands.

Indeed, many listeners of Driver's other material, specifically motW fans, should be able to safely ignore this work as many will certainly be left cold by it. The material categorizes better as a piece of 20th concert-music than anything in the rock vein. I would go as far to say that it's inclusion on this site should be questioned. Many have been tagging this as "minimalism" and I could not disagree more. The compositions are very spacious. They develop slowly and employ silence and empty space. However, I would not describe these as minimalism. To liken them to composers such as Reich or Part would be a severe mistake. The record finds more companionship amongst the 20th century avant-garde of composers such as Ligeti or Cage.

Darkness pervades the entirety of the album. With the exception of the closer, the songs were written to create feelings of unease and tension in the listener (in this regard their success cannot be questioned.). Unlike the drama and crescendo ridden Kayo Dot, the compositions here remain very flat overall, gentle caressing you with slow ebb rather than an obvious crash. As said before with the exception of "Eptacerous" the intent here is to disturb rather than present anything pleasant. "Eptacerous" changes this (yet somehow fits in with the rest of the album, most likely due to the superb trumpet work) giving the listener a very Kayo Dot like guitar/vocal melody contrasted with a menacing background of cello and trumpet, resulting in some heartbreaking moments of sheer bliss.

A lot of this feels like the soundtrack to a horror movie. You know how the music there seems to exist in two parts. One to distract you and keep your mind occupied while the other part jumps in the startle you when you least expect it. This album must be listened to in the dark for the full effect.

Although not absolutely essential like his other releases, I still must rank this as one of the finer albums of the decade. Many fans tracing their roots to maudlin of the Well may view this as a disappointment, but it should be highly regarded by fans of 20th century composition or avant-garde movements.

 In The L..L..Library Loft by DRIVER, TOBY album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.70 | 36 ratings

In The L..L..Library Loft
Toby Driver RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Figglesnout

4 stars Toby Driver's first solo album, containing the puzzling title In The L..L..Library Loft, is quite an interesting affair, to say the very least. Honestly, I'm going to say this up front: if you were one of those unlucky souls that couldn't find much to love in the slow-paced, metal-less 2008 release Blue Lambency Downward (which I personally enjoyed, greatly), and you haven't heard this yet, I earnestly suggest getting it, and soon.

The music is akin to Kayo Dot for sure, but it is typically more experimental, looser, and more based in constructive theory--with obvious roots in a sort of post-modernist avant-classical vein of writing--than most Kayo Dot or maudlin of the Well material. There are only four tracks on the album, but this shouldn't be a huge surprise really, considering that, to date, Kayo Dot only has 18 songs to their name (19 if you include the oh-so-semi-famous Kitty Song) after 3 albums and a split EP, which amounts to an average of 5-6 songs an album (with 1 on the EP).

However, more than ever with material by Toby Driver (exempting Tartar Lamb's debut album, which he also composed), this album is less a series of 4 songs than it is a series of eclectic compositions. Every song is its own experiment--experiments which were obviously deemed a bit too out-there, or perhaps just unrelated, to the experiments Toby tackles within Kayo Dot.

I don't usually do track-by-track reviews, but I think this album warrants it, since each track is so unique, and since I'll be describing the experiments each track undertakes anyway...

Each of the songs has a specific idea in mind, which can be easily identified within the songs themselves. For example, the first track, Kandu vs. Corky (Horrorca), is based around the idea of a bell-curve--bell-sounding instrumentation (lots of odd percussion work--including bells) as well as bell-curved composition; obvious examples being the entire dynamic of the piece, which begins quietly and ominously, before escalating, and then letting off again near the end--and obvious bell-shaped construction. Also, one should take note of the drum work in the song, especially a part played specifically on rims and snares, which begins slowly before rising in tempo, and then falling again--another reflected image of a bell. The whole piece is extremely tense, with Toby bellowing his fiercest guttural croon near the climax--which is quite terrifying.

Which brings me to the whole atmosphere of the album. Unlike Kayo Dot's work, which typically contains downright serene moments, interspersed with bits of madness and chaos, this album follows one basic atmosphere: one of horror and terror. This one's scary, daunting, a wonderful Halloween album I'd say. It is not easy to listen to, I'd say for most people, however it is more than worth listening to.

Every piece is its own experiment, as I've said. The second track, The Lugubrious Library Loft is, according to Toby, based on the need for two persons to perform each instrument. For example, the piano requires a player on the keyboard and a player malleting the strings simultaneously, and so on for each instrument. This song is amazing, in my opinion, as good as a lot of Kayo Dot work. It is a beautiful, coalescing piece of work which builds to an astounding mini-climax, which just blows me away every time I hear it.

Brown Light Upon Us , once again according to Toby himself, tries to use sounds, rhythms, harmonies, etc. that would result in a song that sounded right only when listened to from one room over - in other words, if you heard it in the room it was being played in, it wouldn't sound as good. This is the weakest track on the album for most people, and I'd agree, however, the first ten minutes or so are brilliant, the last few are rather dull and extremely quiet.

Eptaceros is based around some odd horn technique a trumpeter friend of Toby's had been experimenting with, and the song itself is extremely haunting, and very beautiful. The eerie atmosphere comes full circle here, and the album ends on a rather soft note, its last note resounding long after the album is over...

Anyway, that's it. I'm really anticipating another solo album, perhaps containing this mysterious new work Toby's said to have finished (he's supposedly about to perform it with Kayo Dot on this upcoming tour, in August of '08). The bottom line for this one is that is isn't necessarily essential, but it's a definite hit for Kayo Dot fans--especially fans of the band's second album, Dowsing Anemone with Copper Tongue, which, in my opinion, shares some similar elements with this one.

Though the album falters slightly here and there, the overall result is one of punctual subtlety, with an atmosphere that will stick with you for quite a while, and an experimental edge which turns out to work very well, without being allegedly quirky, or too experimental for its own good (except, perhaps, for the last few moments of Brown Light...).

4 stars, and almost 4.5. It takes time, for sure, but fans of Kayo Dot with patient minds which enjoy challenging music should certainly enjoy this album.

 In The L..L..Library Loft by DRIVER, TOBY album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.70 | 36 ratings

In The L..L..Library Loft
Toby Driver RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Easy Livin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

1 stars The music of tumble dryers and vacuum cleaners

I like to think of myself as open minded when it comes to music. I will willingly listen to any style in an effort to find something about it which appeals to me, and more often than not that effort is rewarded. That does not mean that I like everything I hear, far from it, but there is usually merit to be found if you look hard enough.

Try as I may, I cannot hear anything on this album remotely musical or enjoyable. It is akin to listening to a tumble dryer, literally.

Toby Driver is the driving force behind Kayo Dot. While their music may at times offer a significant degree of challenge, when compared to this his first solo album they are comparable with the Beach Boys. For the first so many minutes, it is hard to even tell that the album has started. The faint monotone may actually be indecipherable on stereo systems of a certain quality, as the inherent hum they produce will be much more obvious than the "music". The sound does eventually build to something audible of course, but in the form of an incoherent, formless jumble. Likewise, "Brown light upon us" takes 18 minutes to deliver absolutely nothing but a totally innocuous hum. Honestly there is more variety in the sound of a vacuum cleaner! In all there are four tracks, all of a similar nature, although the actual noises are different on each.

Now I realise that there is perhaps as much of an art to listening to music such as this as there is to making it. That I believe is where the crux of the matter lies. This is not music at all, it is art. It is abstract soundscapes which will appeal to the enlightened few. To the rest such as myself, it is dull, tedious, and utterly boring.

At the time of writing, the album is available for free download via Toby Driver's website.

 In The L..L..Library Loft by DRIVER, TOBY album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.70 | 36 ratings

In The L..L..Library Loft
Toby Driver RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Toby Driver takes music to the limits of the mind. He makes ordinary music look like child's play compared to his multi-dimensional compositions. This album is one of the most intense, slow, and atmospheric albums I think I've ever listened to. There are no discernible melodies on any track, and they certainly take their time to reach their endpoint. This isn't a bad thing, but it leads to a lot of slow build ups that could have been done in half the time and a lot of very sparse sections that could have used some more instrumentation. But other than that, this album (which seems to be filled with ideas too wild for Kayo Dot), is a good look into the mind of one of the more creative musicians out there in the world today.

Kandu vs. Corky (Horroca) opens the album with very sparse and has a very slow and dramatic build up, with subtle increases in intensity with little augmentations of guitar and horns. A droning percussion line in the only thing that is truly noticeable throughout most of the song. Towards the 10th minute, dissonant guitars and Driver's screams and shrieks come in and really give the song a more frightening feel. The dissonance and the disjointed feel only increase the spookiness of the album and are hauntingly beautiful at the same time. The then ends with a long fade out that sounds like it could have continued on for another 5 or 6 minutes, but is promptly ended with screeching feedback.

The Lugubrious Library Loft to me is like a horrific version of one of Brian Eno's ambient albums. The song itself is a wonderful piano led piece mixed with bits of various noises and feedback, as well as some very hymnal sounding vocals from Driver. You can hear utter sadness and despair in Driver's voice on this one. Slowly bits and pieces of percussion and out of sync piano notes are added on top of the haunting main line. The song picks up in pace towards the middle as all the percussion, piano, and guitars swirl together to create an aura of mystery. Once the violin and the distorted bass come in the song takes a whole new shape. The song takes final shape with a great guitar melody and subtle use of the rest of the instruments.

Brown Light Upon Us is the longest, and most drawn out, track on the album. Beginning with some sparse snare drumming, it takes the dissonant and atmospheric root very quickly, with pulsating guitar and keyboard bits, as well as simple percussion. The droning and haunting feeling picks up quickly and evolves into more minimalism as the song progresses further. Sadly, though, the song does drag a lot and feels mostly like filler, and could have been done in a much shorter time span. For example, the majority of this song is a simple droning drum beat with a lot of dissonant buzzing and a hollow main melody (if you can call it a melody at all) on top of it. And that's where the main problem with this album lies, in that the songs take too much time to go through the motions and express all they need to express. It seems as if some of the songs just take forever to get the message (albeit, a musical message) across.

Eptaceros ends the album with great strings, piano, and guitar. It's another piece that takes its time to take form and to really make a name for itself, but this is one of those songs that works with that take your time mentality that's on this album. The song itself is a moody piano led tune (with Driver on piano instead of guitar this time around). The violin on this track really comes out of the box and makes the song a bit more atmospheric and mysterious. The vocals start in at the 5th minute, and the windy and desolate feeling of the song then takes final shape. This is one of the better tracks on the album and really ends the album on the same note that the album began, filled with wondrous mystery and an intense and emotional feeling.

Overall, this album is not for the faint of heart. If you thought Kayo Dot's songs were off the wall and out there, you haven't heard anything yet. These songs are quirky, they're haunting, they're emotionally brutal (as Mr. Adair said above), and their incredibly intense. If you can get past some overly drawn out moments and many sections of sparse instrumentation, then you'll find something to like here. Me, I liked this album, it's a bit more out there than what I've listened to in the past, but I'm growing to love music of this type. For me, I'll give the album a 3.5/5.

Thanks to useful_idiot for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives