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Consider The Source - Esperanto CD (album) cover

ESPERANTO

Consider The Source

 

Eclectic Prog

3.83 | 22 ratings

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ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk Researcher
4 stars The first Consider the Source album 'Esperanto' is the band's shortest, coming in at a respectable 48 minutes but nearly twenty minutes shorter than their second album and a full half-hour under their third. Size isn't everything though, or at least that's what I tell my wife, and in this case the band's debut is both short and sweet. The title is quite appropriate given the Eastern tinge to the band's music, as well as the eclectic use of odd percussion and sampled sounds that combine to give the songs both a rather timeless and borderless feel. I mentioned when reviewing their second album that the band sounded just a tiny bit prog-folky to me, and I think that comment applies to this album as well even though hints of more contemporary bands like Explosions in the Sky and even a little Don Caballero seem obvious as well.

The second two albums are completely instrumental, while this one has a few snippets of voice (on "The Great Circuiting" and "You Go Squish Now") though in both cases it is spoken-word vocals and these may just be some sort of recorded samples. Otherwise this is all about guitars, drums and bass just like the others, though guitarist Gabriel Marin was still using his funky fretless chaturangui here. Not as much as on the second album, but enough to notice and to give an added dimension to his heavily-massaged guitar playing.

'Esperanto' sounds more like the band's second album than the third, meaning that despite heavier use of sampling and digital sound manipulation these songs have a slightly earthier and artsy feel to them, while the band's latest offering 'That's What's Up' heads off into neo-prog/math rock territory. "Constantly Nostalgic" for example sounds just like its title, a flowing, playful number with lazy percussion and guitar riffs that explore chord progressions rather than try to overpower the listener with building crescendos and spine- tingling arpeggios. That stuff turns neo and metal fans on I suppose, but the more laid- back sounds generally have a little more mass-appeal to those of us who are neither music theory experts nor primo musicians (hail to mass appeal).

I can't tell for sure on "Between the Teeth of Trouble" but it sounds like this is an acoustic guitar being amped by microphone rather than a bridge pickup. I'm probably wrong (remember that 'not a musician' comment), but the softer guitar sound on this song along with the heavy use of the weird chaturangui-thingy gives this tune a completely different and more nostalgic feel than anything else on the album. If the band were ever to hand off a single song for inclusion in some sort of V/A compilation I would highly recommend they use this one. Hopefully they'll read this and jump right on my useful suggestion.

"Patterns" starts off slowly as well and includes what sounds like a Fender Rhodes or some sort of electric piano, but once again this is Marin plucking away on his chaturangui. Rather than Eastern though, the song has a Latin mood to it despite the odd chords, embellished at times with some sort of hand drums and not much else. This is a beautiful tune that also deserves more attention. Maybe someone will discover it and include it on a podcast that leads to the band being more widely discovered and appreciated. Seems I'm full of great ideas today.

Finally "Tihai for the Straight Guy" (funny title) reveals the band's rocking side in a very Eastern way with a funky, polyrhythmic blast of bass and wailing guitar that will spin your head around if you try to follow to tempo shifts. These guys obviously spent a fair amount of time studying music the rest of us only read about, and I'm left a little disappointed that they didn't develop this sort of sound further on their subsequent albums, and especially on their latest. This sort of stuff is what really has the potential to set these guys far apart from anything else on the prog scene today. Outstanding!

I started listening to this album expecting it to be a slightly less mature version of the band's later work, but came away thinking they started with the best and have been trying to match it ever since. I really dig this band and am looking forward to hearing whatever they come up with next, but for now I have to say this is their best work and this is an album I would recommend without hesitation to any prog music fan. So four stars it is and I'll close by encouraging you to check these guys out.

peace

ClemofNazareth | 4/5 |

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