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The Medicine Cabinet - And The Frenchman Rolls Up His Sleeves... CD (album) cover

AND THE FRENCHMAN ROLLS UP HIS SLEEVES...

The Medicine Cabinet

 

Eclectic Prog

4.00 | 1 ratings

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Windhawk
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars US trio THE MEDICINE CABINET is a new addition to the progressive rock universe. This Ohio based threesome consists of Ryan Friebertshauser, Nathan Kunst and Tyler Sellers, and released their debut album "And the Frenchman Rolls Up His Sleeves..." in 2013.

This is a band and an album I guess many will have an interesting time in terms of categorizing them. They don't really subscribe to any of the more popular brands of progressive rock out there, and while thy do have an overall sound with a certain lo-fi quality to it I suspect this is more about recordings that hasn't been the subject of tons of studio magic, as well as a certain desire to produce a vintage oriented sound in general.

Gentle guitar textures is a key element throughout. Gently resonating licks with psychedelic qualities, smoothly shifting to a somewhat more jazz-oriented expression with a slight funky presence as the most solid of those. On the other extreme we're also treated to an occasional light-toned textured presence that resides somewhere on the border between psychedelic rock and post rock. There's even some slight touches at times that may invite to associations towards the like of Robert Fripp. Supplementing the guitar we have careful and delicate bass and drums, frequently with a frail jazz-tinged quality to them, but also providing harder hitting patterns of a more regular variety. With alternating spoken and sung vocals, both of them with subtly odd delivery more often than not, only occasionally delivered in a more intense manner.

These details are assembled in compositions that by and large can be described as multiple themed, or perhaps consisting of multiple movements. Smooth transitions and developments is a key feature in this context, in particular how the band wanders between a more psychedelic and a more jazzrock oriented expression, while rarely if ever exploring any of these in a purebred manner. Opening cut Intro and the aptly named Interlude are the main exceptions, these compositions showcasing that this is a band that does know a bit about ambient-tinged, cosmic electronic music as well. Which is a nice contrast to their somewhat more challenging escapades.

Personally I can't really pull any crystal clear associations out of the hat for this band, but have seen others make comparisons towards the likes of Peter Hammill. If that one is a good one I can't really tell, but if fairly mellow but challenging music with a 1970's atmosphere to it that operates in territories that invites associations to jazzrock and psychedelic rock both sounds enticing, then this is a band and an album that merits an inspection.

Windhawk | 4/5 |

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