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VOLUME ONE

Perhaps

Post Rock/Math rock


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Horizons
COLLABORATOR
Post/Math Rock Team
5 stars A Mathematical Maelstrom ..

The band Perhaps begins their musical quest with their release of Volume One, a magnificent tour de force with orchestral attributes and a eagerness to dominate the sonic plains on which the band tramples.

Perhaps has blown me away with the audacity and proficiency of this album. The nearly 38- minute epic evolves from an electric Math-Rock sensation into a psychedelic fusion jam, then again to an efficacious post-rock climax. The recording of the album comes from a live performance in a basement, giving the music a wonderfully expansive sound. Musicianship of the strings, drums and saxophone is top-notch and varied. The music invokes multiple moods and atmosphere with the shifting styles the band focuses on.

Beginning with Giraffes?Giraffes!-like Math-Rock, the Perhaps trio satisfies the listener with a motley of guitar techniques, drums that both mimic and contrasts the apparent melody, and a bass that accentuates the perfect notes and rhythmic lines. This is honestly some of my all- time favorite math-rock compositions. Stylistically, it keeps you guessing and entertained the entire time - captivating you until you realize you've been hooked only on the first five minutes. It's that infectious. Eventually the musical domain opens up even more to allow a saxophone to take the lead. The music now has a completely new face, it is more warm, emotive, and seemingly boundless. Perhaps reverts from nimble, argumentative phrases to these dramatically grandiose conversations within the band. The dense shell begins to implode. A wake of gloom and destructive despair overwhelms as the we reach the finale. Finally the ending is upon you, reduced to a quiet guitar - their world is now building up from nothing. The cymbals usher in beautiful violins and violas as the music begins to gain momentum. The guitars shreak from the depths and take the reigns on this perfect ending. This Post-Rock phenomena can compete with any other band that defines the genre, even with the likes of the omniscience Godspeed You! Black Emperor.

A completely brilliant debut from this band, establishing a neurological fortress that will blanket you in awe and inspiration.

Report this review (#814887)
Posted Monday, September 3, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Try to imagine a celestial realm where Yes, The Mars Volta and Hella had a devils threesome and 9 nine months later had a baby. That baby would be Perhaps. Giving a modern edge to the progressive rock we discovered through classic albums like Relayer, Perhaps takes the progressive genre to a whole new level, showcasing amazing tightness and rhythmic accuracy, with the flow and ease of a jam band, all while rocking your socks of with odd timed riffs and advanced harmonies. From the beginning, Volume One builds up for minutes until the eventual explosion of notes marking the beginning of a powerful musical journey. The guitar and bass put on an impressive display of chops, riffing out complex patterns layered with pleasing harmonies. Around the 10 minute mark, what could only be John Coltrane's ghost, begins an amazing and ridiculous saxophone solo while the band holds their odd timed groove. The music ebbs in and out dynamically throughout the piece, and at about 30 minutes an amazing moment in music begins. This simple progression builds up slowly, adding layers of complexity every few measures. The song builds up into a zenith of emotion, and keeps building, then all of a sudden, stops, only to come back even more powerful a few seconds later. The strings in the end added such a remarkable touch to the overall piece.This album is essential to anyone interested in the modern era of progressive music, clocking in at almost 38 minutes, it is a masterpiece.
Report this review (#815033)
Posted Tuesday, September 4, 2012 | Review Permalink
VanVanVan
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I'm always impressed and intrigued when a group comes out with a single track, 40 minute long debut album (and that seems to happen surprisingly often), and I'm always a little nervous when a track of that length is described as having been recorded live. There's always a huge potential for failure; for the possibility that a 40 minute jam will sound like just that: a wandering, aimless piece that has some cool parts but ultimately goes nowhere.

Fortunately, perhaps has deftly avoided these pitfalls and turned out a stunning piece of instrumental music. Where it could have been wandering, it feels tightly paced and well put- together. Where it could have been aimless, it feels focused. All of the moments are cool moments and it all leads to one of the finest finales in instrumental music this side of 1969. All in all, "Volume One" is an excellent piece of work and should be highly appreciated by fans of Kraut-influenced experimental rock.

Some very faint, haunting tones begin the album's singular piece, giving the beginning of the track a very minimalist feel. This pseudo-ambient feel carries through until about the two minute mark, when the piece suddenly launches into an eccentric, frenetic groove that bears some definite similarities to some of the early, classic Krautrock albums. I would say that this music has a bit more of a playful spirit to it, though, and it's certainly less dark than a lot of early Krautrock.

The introduction of a twisted-sounding saxophone gives the music an alien edge, a vibe which is in no small part exacerbated by the echoey guitar parts which seem to reverberate through the recording with acid-soaked fervor. I have to mention the percussionist as well; the drums sound to me like they're mixed decently far back in the recording but the frenetic energy with which they're played perfectly complement the chaotic instruments in the foreground.

At about the fifteen minute point the track drops into a more relaxed, almost jazzy mode that primarily features some great, psychedelic atmospheres courtesy of that great acid-washed guitar tone. Intensity builds from this motif and eventually drops into a great, classic sounding jam that could have come straight out of the late 60s.

The reintroduction of a horn part pulls the track back into the neighborhood of jazz, but the whacked-out psychedelia remains abundant and some distorted, electronic effects over the horn keep the track sounding eclectic and of course pretty "out there." In fact, by the time the track hits the 22-minute mark it's in full on freak-out mode, with a huge variety of instruments wailing and jamming in a way that recalls the past but still sounds completely timeless. The intensity drops back a little bit after that and lets the listener breathe, which really highlights how well the piece is paced, which is absolutely critical for an instrumental track of this length.

The variety in the track is also very impressive, as the last ten minutes or so of the track switches gears entirely and becomes a swirling, pseudo ambient/post-rock piece that makes use of a string part and great atmospheric guitar. It's a moment of peace before the intensity of the track builds back up for its blistering climax, which features an absolutely monstrous guitar part along with the strings to create a beautiful, climactic finish for the album.

"Volume One," then, is certainly an astounding piece of instrumental, experimental rock, and its wonderfully paced chaos sounds incredibly fresh among the legions of highly produced, sometimes overly technical instrumental bands that can seem to dominate the progressive scene. For anyone who looks to the past and says "they don't make music like that anymore," I would point them to perhaps' debut album, because this should convince them that "music like that" is still being made and hopefully will be for a very long time.

4/5

Report this review (#817020)
Posted Saturday, September 8, 2012 | Review Permalink
zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Perhaps is an instrumental trio from Boston and Volume One is, believe it or not, their first album. It consists solely of one almost 40 minute track (an iPod user's nightmare). Bassist Jim Haney wrote the music and did the artwork for the album. The music was recorded live to analog tape and sometimes has a "70s" feel to it. There are guest musicians here playing string and brass instruments. Stylistically there is elements of math rock, fusion and psychedelic rock along with other musical twists and turns. An eclectic mix of styles that are forced to work together.

Everything opens with some almost spacey ambient soundscapes for roughly the first two minutes. Then it goes into some twangy math rock with some effects here and there. Generally stays in that territory while briefly changing to other styles once in awhile. Around 6 1/2 minutes goes into an alternative/indie type riff, this riff is briefly played in a groove style. Then the music switches to some kind of psychedelic fusion. Some avant-jazz sax soloing joins in. A psych rock guitar solo which eventually gets more jazzy sounding. The music stops by the 13 minute mark and does some start/stop dynamics.

Eventually the music goes back into math rock territory while going through a few style changes in a short period of time. Around halfway the music gets jazzier and you hear a trumpet solo with an echo effect on it. The music gets spacier with added effects. Gradually everything starts to rock out until it sounds like vintage 1970s boogie-rock. Then it goes through more style changes in a brief span of time. A long, drawn out 'ending' before the music stops around the 30 minute mark.

Only quiet guitars and cymbals then come in playing in a post-rock style. Strings get added as the volume increases and it turns into a GYBE style crescendo. Some guitar soloing over top as the drums get freer and looser briefly. A nice way to end such a musical journey. Even though it is only one long track, it has a great flow and no parts outstay their welcome. A great performance which must have took a bit of practice. This is one of those albums where you don't know what to think of it the first time you hear it, yet appreciate it the more you play it. Good enough for 4 stars.

Report this review (#826314)
Posted Saturday, September 22, 2012 | Review Permalink
octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars Does anybody remember a guitarist called Steve Howe and an album entitled Close to the Edge? At least for the guitar technique and skill this one track album can be compared to the YES masterpiece.

It takes two minutes of ambient soundscape driven by spacey keyboards (it seems, but it's a true strings quartet) to reach the sonic explosion which gives the start to the first rocking section. As I have written the best YES come to my mind, just a bit more folky (in the Howe's sense).

About five minutes and a number of different themes and signatures replace one each other until the sax debuts. I think I can call it acid jazz. In some moments it reminds me to the instrumental moments of the early AREA, especially the most chaotic. It's time to make yourself aware of what drums and bass are doing, too.

Effectively there's a lot of skill in this long track, but it's not cold as usually happens when the skill overcomes the feeling. It's like when Canterbury bands like CARAVAN or better, EGG were using the skill to express themselves. This is the sensation that this track gives me. Maybe the drummer is more similar to CLIVE BROOKS than to BILL BRUFORD. Question of style, not skill. This jazzy part is very exciting, especially for who likes Canterbury, but it's also noisy and this makes a difference.

A sudden stop and what's now? KAYO DOT? Not exactly. It's noisy but not too dark and the jazzy mood is still present. How to describe this part at around 14 minutes? It's also melodic in some moments. what reminds to YES is the frequency with which the signatures change. At 15:30 Another chaotic YES-like moment arrives. The high quantity of notes played by the guitar on an odd signature...and it rocks, too! The guitar at minute 17 plays a bit of old fashioned hard rock but what the bass does behind is a sort of fusion.

Somebody may think that this is just a patchwork of different things joined together, and some sudden passages may give this impression, but even when the hard rock is suddenly replaced by a very jazzy and dark trumpet solo the mood of the track doesn't change. If music can alter your state of mind, I still feel a continuity in the mood of the track. Also not all the transitions are sudden. Some are smooth. And back to the trumpet, this is one of the best parts of the suite.

Some instruments stop or go to the background or decrease the volume. This is the next transition. Slow free jazz. with some electronics in the background which leads to an oriental guitar like in the early PINK FLOYD. It's not "Set The Controls...", it's more rocking and the crescendo is everything but floydian. The oriental mood leaves room to another rock passage which reminds to the acid west coast psychedelia of the late 60s closed by another guitar riff in Howe style, including a short rock and roll moment. The impression is that there's very few improvisation. Everything seems to be accurately studied. At minute 28 it seems we are at the end of the track, but this is not a standard rock final. It's the start of a noisy and psychedelic section. The powerful drum hits remind me again to Roger Waters hitting the gong on he Pompeii movie.

Silence. The bass emerges slowly followed by the guitar. It could be MARILLION. The crescendo is very slow and exactly the opposite of the previous powerful noise. If any radio DJ thinks to pass a part of this suite, this one is the right part. Melodic, not challenging for the listener but good as the rest. At the top of the crescendo there's a new stop, violins and the sounds become heavy again. Strong drums and bass. A very good Gilmourish solo and the strings behind. It's incredible how this band passes from pieces of avant-rock to symphonic to heavy prog in the same, even if long, track.

The final crescendo grows high and is closed by some "chaos", similarly to the final of CARAVAN's Nine Feet Underground.

I'm really surprised of how good is this suite. Forget all the artists that I have mentioned before, this is an original band. I have used them as examples as describing an instrumental without examples is not easy.

4 stars is the minimum that I can give it.. Honestly I've been thinking to the 5th star for a while, and I may change my mind and my rating later. For now 4 seems appropriate. "Excellent" is a word which matches my feeling about it.

Report this review (#845399)
Posted Friday, October 26, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Volume One by PERHAPS is without question one of the most intriguing albums I've heard in recent years. This instrumental opus explores just about every aspect of progressive rock music that I love. Previous reviews make comparisons to YES and GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR, and although I wholeheartedly agree with the many similarities that PERHAPS draws from these groups, I find Volume One transcends some of these comparisons as it is a wholly original piece of music. But it is tremendously difficult to describe and review an entirely instrumental album without listing similar artists. On the whole I recognize just as much HAWKWIND and MC5 influence in the music as I do CAN and GONG. Highly recommended for anyone interested in groundbreaking music.

The production on Volume One is top notch, and was apparently recorded live to all analog equipment in a basement studio. The atmosphere of this album is on par with such masterpieces of the progressive rock genre as Close To The Edge or Selling England By The Pound, and I feel this is in part due to the production process. This record sounds like it could have been recorded in the 70's.

The album begins with a collage of gongs and various percussion along with some spacey synthesizers. This sets the mood and lets the listener know that they are in for something of a journey. This introduction/ambient section slowly but surely builds into a YES or KING CRIMSON style explosion of notes. Several main melodies are stated by the guitar and bass with the drums frenziedly galloping away in the background. The melodies and dare I say hooks that this band has written are at best out of this world and at worst extremely catchy. The first "section" is more or less your standard prog rock affair, with lots of time signature changes and harmonization. Lots of synth flourishes weave in and out, again the analog production style adds so much to this section and the others that follow.

Eventually the band takes a 180 and introduces a manic saxophone solo over a very radical groove. This part took me completely by surprise yet somehow felt fully natural. The guitar work during this section is certainly very much in the way of Steve Howe, Alex Lifeson or David Gilmour. Very tasteful rhythm section work as the sax and guitar trade leads during this very psychedelic section.

Some stop/start EGG-esque hits conclude the previous section and fade off with a vintage echo effect, leaving the listener wondering what's next to come. This album in fact leaves you guessing almost the entire time, very exciting stuff. Next comes a rather technical math rock style part which is thoroughly impressive. The fact that Perhaps recorded this album live in the studio is baffling to me, not only because some of the sections seem so difficult to perform but because the album also sounds so incredibly great. Warm and fresh tones throughout with a very 60's-70's vintage psychedelic vibe.

At the conclusion of the probably most technical part of Volume One, it drops into a sort of jazzy chilled out mode that has several changes. At the apex of this the band drops into one of the most menacing riffs I've ever heard and pulls out another left turn. A trumpet solo takes over and eventually starts to sound mutated and evil as this section moves on. Very skillful Bitches Brew style jamming yet some effects take over the trumpet and make it nearly unrecognizable as such (in a very cool way). By the time the groove really gets heavy the trumpet sounds like it is somewhere in outer space, being eaten by computer monsters. A middle eastern sounding guitar solo follows this and the drums pummel in a space-rock HAWKWIND style. All of a sudden the band switches gears on the turn of a dime and busts into a sort of CARAVAN boogie riff.

Some more synth washes and heavy distortion signal the end of this section and this is seemingly the climax, but PERHAPS has one more trick up their sleeve in my personal favorite part of Volume One. In a truly GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR inspired move, the band drops down to almost nothing and starts a melancholy, emotional progression. A string quartet slowly crescendos in with the band, and the results are beautiful. This section nearly brought tears to my eyes with its heart wrenching melodies. It continues to build and then cuts out leaving only the bass playing a simple riff, then all of a sudden kicks back in even 10 times more heavily than before. This is the true climax of the album and it is breath taking. The album concludes with some random chaotic noises and then drops to nothing.

I cannot recommend this album highly enough. I haven't been this enthralled with a piece of music in years. For any fan of progressive rock, you owe it to yourself to listen to Volume One by PERHAPS. I only wonder if they will be able to top this with their next record?

5 stars no question

Report this review (#846809)
Posted Monday, October 29, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars Wonderful record full of twist and turns, highly enjoyable for the fan of King Crimson or Yes. Perhaps Volume One is a very vintage sound album and has lots of influences by Pink Floyd or Camel. Many psychedelic moment and true progressive styles. A one single track album is their debut Volume One, very long at 37:48 reminding of Thick as a Brick. Vintage style saxophone, trumpets and string quartet also analog synthesizers add lots of atmosphere on this Perhaps debut. Very hard to describe each section of this wonderful record, much recommended to listen on your own, probably with headphones for full effect. Very very good!!
Report this review (#846820)
Posted Monday, October 29, 2012 | Review Permalink
HolyMoly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Retired Admin
4 stars Normally, I try to let an album sink in for a while (sometimes up to a year) before I attempt a review. In this case, however, I think it's important to help get the word out about this band and album, and after two close listens I already have plenty to say about it. In a sense, this album seems designed to deliver all the requisite prog thrills that true prog fans look for in an album. As a 38 minute epic, it's done with such unbridled glee and energy that it never comes across as calculated or cynical. It's the album a lot of us have probably dreamed about making, if we only had the talent!

The album's intro is a clear tip of the hat to the tried and true "Close to the Edge" and "Tarkus" school of epic intros. Slowly building synth chords followed by a chaotic, rocking guitar/bass/drums section that should be very familiar to prog fans. It rocks, AND it has the band playfully hitting rhythmically tricky unison parts together. The melodies on guitar are sometimes reminiscent of the classical fanfare themes you might hear from ELP, but sounding more like Guapo, or Yes at their most aggressive (think Gates of Delirium here). Having played out this theme for a while, the band deftly shifts into a new section, led by saxophone. The core trio of guitar/bass/drums keeps the energy coming, pushing the sax player into increasingly frenetic territory. The band then moves into another tricky, mathy section. So far, we're about 15 minutes into the piece, and it's stayed consistently interesting and energetic. A good sign.

In general, one of the hazards of purely instrumental, elongated songs is the danger of inaccessibility. Oftentimes, I find myself saying, "gee that must have been hard to play", or "gee, that was complex", without really having any emotional attachment to the music. Sometimes you just need a narrative, a voice, a story, to hang your hat on. Given that potential pitfall for pieces like this, I was surprised at how engaged I was throughout the piece. I can't say I was ever blown away, but I was entertained. They keep it fresh and keep the ideas coming. I can't help but think I would have liked it even more if it had had more of a narrative element, but don't take that as a complaint.

But it's not all furious instrumental craziness. At around the 20 minute mark, suddenly we're in space groove territory, with a Gong/Guru Guru like bass line providing the foundation for a (why not?) modulated trumpet solo. As with the sax solo, the band keeps pushing the soloist to new heights of intensity, and the guitar player starts going bananas with echoey glissando madness, the point at which I said out loud, "Guru Guru! Cool!".

With the intensity built up to a feverish level, the band finally comes crashing down to Earth, letting the tones ring out for a while before gently coming back to provide a string-laden emotional conclusion to the piece. I couldn't tell if it was real strings or a string synth doing a Mellotron impression, but the album has some string players credited, so that may be them, though I did hear strings on prior sections too. This Saucerful-ish emotional closing section puts a neat cap on the piece, a feeling of resolution and closure. Nice.

An excellent work that has a little bit for everybody: Space Rock, Math Rock, Krautrock, Crimson-like prog, and even a little bit of Symphonic in there. It may be a bit too much to swallow for fans not accustomed to long instrumentals, but hop on the bus and see where it takes you.

Report this review (#846915)
Posted Tuesday, October 30, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Just got hold of this album via the band's official site, FOR FREE (you can also name a price)! That's pretty cool. Basically, Perhaps Volume One is one of those albums that seemingly came out at exactly the right time and filled a void in music. To the best of my knowledge, no one has made this type of music in such a true and dedicated manner since 1975. Perhaps is clearly a band that is continuing the great tradition of artists like Yes, ELP and King Crimson. This is an album for anyone who wishes La Villa Strangiato went on for another extra 30 minutes. This is an album for anyone who thinks that maybe Sound Chaser would've been cooler without vocals. This is an album for anyone who wishes more bands carried on the tradition of what was actually awesome about 70's prog/psychedelic. This band is not an overly polished technical, million notes per second shred prog thing. Perhaps Volume One is the real deal....
Report this review (#848964)
Posted Friday, November 2, 2012 | Review Permalink
AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
4 stars After listening to a plethora of prog today including Eloy, Santana and Kamelot, my ears had to really adjust to Perhaps. The music immediately swarms with vitality with frenetic percussive layers that would make Christian Vander reach for his sticks to join in. Don Taylor drums like a man possessed attacking his kit with a ferocity that I have not heard in a long time. The guitar work of Sean McDermott is insane, as he screams it up to 11 and then goes one louder. The guitar is a fusion of tortured arpeggios and furious string picking in the first section. Then it settles after a while in a semblance of some melody, but it doesn't last long. The bass is comparable by Jim Haney, reminding me of the way Jack Bruce used to hold the sound together with Cream.

The honey over the rice pudding is the glorious saxophone blasts of Tom Weeks, as good as the sound of Banton from Van der Graaf Generator. There is a trumpet and violin section mixed in the cauldron, and this is a relentless bubbling brew that has astonishing asymmetrical rhythms and is a manic avant jazz workout for 40 minutes non stop.

It just continues to build into a frenzy of musical instruments competing for supremacy, and at times sounds like an explosion went off in a music shop. The guitar work moves into a speedy picking style until it suddenly breaks into a seizure of short blasts as if the train were trying to get up the hill. It ascends with determination then settles into some dissonant textures, music like I have never heard. The polyphonic rhythms return and then a fiery percussion that leads to a new time sig, though no time sig is held for long, but I like it when I can lock onto a sig in places as it gives you breathing space from the irregular beats. The guitar in one passage has a 70s twanging feel and there is a cool rhythm when the sonic effect is heard. It builds in intensity back to a hyperspeed pace, but then again releases the tension into a more laidback feel. The threat of a paroxysm of fire is always looming, and it germinates slowly after a really nice lead break and bass pulsations over the jazz drum metrics.

More delightful trumpet is heard breaking the tension, and it echoes off into the distance over the bass groove. The guitar riffs return at about 21 minutes in, with hypnotic effect and a Hawkwind atmosphere is generated with spacey effects like some Sonic Attack on the senses. At this point I think I am either listening to genius musicians or these guys are simply off the trolley. The Hawkwind atmosphere becomes even more prominent at 23 minutes, with psychedelic effects colouring the trilling of Bryan Murphy's trumpet embellishments.

The jamming continues with enough power to blow Spongebob Squarepant's mind as he screams for his spatula, and it gets even faster at the 26 minute mark. The guitar unleashes a convulsion of fret melting notes, and the percussion argues with it, and wins the argument with bone jarring savagery, as Taylor smashes his drum kit to pulp. The spacey other worldly sound intensifies and then at about 30 minutes in everything drops out and we hear a gentle guitar and some reverb percussion. The calm is unsettling in the eye of the storm but the ears readjust to normality as a very relaxing melody locks in. It has a kind of motorik Kraut vibe as it increases in volume and the violins paint a beautiful soundscape, as the guitars crash in relentlessly murdering the ambience. I love the lead break at this point and it has a post rock mood. The violins permeate the scape and bring us to a stirring conclusion with a shimmer of keyboards. This is shattering music, some of the best post or Math rock I have heard along with Giraffes? Giraffes! Or Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Is it for you? Listen to it on their website and see for yourself.

Report this review (#849221)
Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars An absolute fantastic work. The recording is warm and vibrant, and the live sound creates a listening experience completely unique to most prog recordings that have come out in recent years. The playing is polished the but the tapey sound gives it the gritty attitude it needs. Wonder use of dynamics, part mirroring and veering, solo work, stop and go's, and the bass...THE BASS. Wonderful all around. Influences are obviously taken from realms outside of prog ranging from stoner rock, to pop, to post rock, to ambient noise, and math rock. While it is easy to get lost in this epic track, it's not overwhelming. Parts are layered very naturally and you're never in one place for quite too long. I'm left wanting more, not just of the song, but of each intricate melody and harmony. The absence of vocals, while at first did seem like a void, left more room for instrumental development and part-writing experimentation. As a musician, I appreciate this more than any good hook or vocal run, so it does not hinder my review.

Overall a SPECTACULAR album. I recommend a listen on some quality speakers, as the feel of this album and it's production/engineering are just as important as all of its parts.

Report this review (#851255)
Posted Monday, November 5, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars A pre-pubescent spaghetti fest for the ages. Truly a limited box with the limiter broken, a tamed orangutang with guitar et al, demanding some sort of opinion from all but the most passive among us, etc. To review a (release) like this requires one not only to create an account, but also to tap small boxes emblazoned with runes until an adequate number of characters has been seen on an electronic device which has been given a name we are not concerned with. The history of how something like [this] came to be is outside the purview of this article. What is important here is that it is being read. Why [review]? Why not? A full {account} of my personal experiences relating to the artifact in question is completely unnecessary, It will suffice to say that it is fine, fine, fine indeed. Truly fine. If one was to apply an adjective to something exactly like what we are discussing here it would be "fine." Thrice begone nunce por a noover x=threeM4.

4/5, would listen again.

Report this review (#851410)
Posted Monday, November 5, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars This band, Perhaps, they have found a slot in the ever expanding essential music of the space time continuum, at least for earth. It starts off how anything would start off: from nothing. The moment you press play seemingly nothing happens, you might turn your volume up because you'll have the thought "is it going?" then gradually you will hear the sound quietly spinning more and more rapidly and louder from nothing until, the neo-rocking, ever precise, bass, drums and guitar set themselves onto your eardrums. It starts out as a kind of a innocent early Hella meets Omar-Rodriguez Lopez (minus the Spanish) being led by Jerry Garcia. It definitely takes you on a journey every second you are listening to it that seems to last both a long and short time. Moments throughout it reaches what I like to describe as a whirlpool, only lasting a second but building up and developing over minutes (the entire piece caries this vibe), that takes you from one to another sound scape seamlessly. Somewhere in the middle they find a really nice groove and there is a horn lead that eventually gets delayed and all sorts of messed with and almost sounds completely electronic, here you can make out the Mars Volta influence, where you can hear melting of multiple dimensions. We rock out again in a new age of progressive math-rock equations that all merge together cosmically. Eventually the music winds down and it all has to be over right? A touching, monotonous, post-rock bass riff mixed with lovely stings and occasional, collective, epic outbursts that perfectly sums up what just happened in the past 37 minutes.
Report this review (#851414)
Posted Monday, November 5, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars It felt as though I was awaiting an impending departure. I knew a ride was coming, I knew I was going to be taken somewhere, but what was different about this feeling was I had no idea where I was going this time around. I had a vague idea though. I knew it wasn't going to be exactly what I expected; although I had the feeling it was going to be familiar territory. When I arrived, I felt like I was standing at the mouth of a tie-dye painted hallway, an endless corridor with knobs and buttons lining the walls. Buttons corresponding to notes that flow seamlessly together, knobs that twisted and shaped tones to fit in the tightest crevasses. All of this put in place to create a harmonious blend of complex mathematical vintage space rock sound when pressed and pulled in sequence. When I started the debut album titled, Volume One, from the Boston, Mass. based trio, Perhaps, it felt like I ran full speed down that hallway with my arms out letting my fingers glide over every button in perfect sequence. 6 minutes into Volume One, I quickly realized that the whole house was covered from floor to ceiling in those buttons, and I had no choice but to push every button in that house. Volume One is the debut album of the newly assembled Perhaps, consisting of bassist and mastermind behind the project, Jim Haney, guitarist Sean McDermott, and drummer Don Taylor. Together, these three are able to assemble and stack pitch bending harmonies, heavy rock guitar riffs, psychedelic inspired song composition, and what can only be described as a seemingly (and I say "seemingly ," because you can tell an extraordinary amount of thought and effort went into this project) sporadic yet unbroken leap from one melodic structure to the next. Volume One had me eagerly looking forward to and expecting what was coming up, but it grabbed hold of me and kept me present in what was taking place in the moment. The album starts off with an eerie feel, as if a train is racing down intergalactic tracks. The sounds intensify and suspense builds. I'm sitting, waiting for what I'm in store for, listening intently for what is to come. The sound goes from noise to music, notes take form, layer by layer adding upon one another until, with a crash, you have the first composition of Volume One. This composition sets the tone for the album; an album that consists of fundamental math rock influences, but isn't afraid to venture into new grey areas that mix different styles and influences to create something completely unique. Throughout the album, the guitar and bass are so woven together; it's easy to get lost in what's what. Haney and McDermott know how to let each other shine, effortlessly switching between who's taking the lead and who's taking the rhythmic backseat. With heavy crashes and an almost furious pace, drummer Don Taylor sets the landscape for Haney and McDermott, who, as you get into the album, are able to scale what can be described as a musically vertical mountain, found on a planet in a different dimension. The compositions climb higher and higher, until you're taken to the tallest peak hidden within the mind of Perhaps. I found myself standing at the top of the peak, trying to recall how I got there. Only through the mind of madman Jim Haney and fellow members of Perhaps, was I able to go there. I have seen the top of the mountain, and it is good. With the lack of a vocalist and missing "single track," style structure you see in most bands, Perhaps has no boundaries. Volume One is an incredible debut album that showcases what this distinctive band is made up of, and can only truly be appreciated by listening start to finish. Take the keys to the house and press the buttons; you'll be glad that you did.
Report this review (#851440)
Posted Monday, November 5, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Perhaps never ceases to amaze and again churns out a fantastic piece of music. The crescendos happen slow and build over many different kinds of harmonies. There is a great souk the vibes with these young individuals. The trance effect of the bass guitar ties in some of the classic funk matched with some clean electric guitar riffs made for a piece of music that kept you on your toes the entire time. The piece is honestly a masterpiece of progressive rock. The progression of the bass leaves me dying for more and Jim Haney continues to deliver time and time again. Powerful rolls and crashes kept the pace and set you off in a trance that really captured the meaning of progressive rock. Perhaps live on.....
Report this review (#851458)
Posted Tuesday, November 6, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars Volume 1 by PERHAPS is a wonderful, highly frenetic album full of haunting sonic soundscapes, pure and exploding intention, and effortless melodic, harmonic and rhythmic episodes. It begins with what sounds like a cosmic soup carefully converging, becoming, growing and dying like dusk in a prehistoric forest that crescendos into youthful awakening. Wake Up: Minute two and born from the soup an unadulterated electrical signal, a live wire; expressed by the savvy trio arrangements, that oscillate between a tight rhythm section groove, contrapuntal movement, bleeding horn parts and synth glitches. I imagine an energy source desperately searching; unharnessed, undaunted as it powers everything it touches- the vein of this album is definitely so profoundly about this wild pulse. One the best moments begins to happen around minute eighteen as the music begins to enter a spectral and truly distraught trumpet musing' which is the first place in the music that sounds questioning to me, sounds like the search has become less about movement and more about what it hopes to find and then FIND it does. The last breathtaking ten minutes of quiet melodic intensity happens which becomes like shelter from the storm; a place of peace, and true tear inspiring transformation' as if from all the carnage and confusion and angst and overwhelming beauty comes forth this sole original idea'that allows you to miss the delirium of the first twenty minutes while being completely enthralled and overwhelmed by the beautiful build of the theme. I think this album is inspiring on so many levels; it honestly reflects asymmetry and wild abandon, the mix is gorgeous, and the technical ability of the players and arrangements are awe inspiring but the last ten minutes, the last ten minutes... put PERHAPS on the map and show the bands unequivocal potential for longevity in whatever direction the muse takes them. GREAT ALBUM.
Report this review (#851617)
Posted Tuesday, November 6, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars makes me miss the days of 30+ minute tracks. the live recording definitely adds raw emotion to the entire piece. jumping from scale to scale so fluently while never missing a beat. all the instruments complement each other to fill out sound perfectly. in the studio or live, these guys just get it done with ease. never staying in the same place, always taking the right turns just when you think it couldn't get any better. drum and bass are absolutely amazing together. the guitar is something out of the mars volta's hay day, so there's nothing left to say but "epic", whens volume two droppin?
Report this review (#851766)
Posted Tuesday, November 6, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Perhaps Volume One is without a doubt one of the filthiest rock and roll albums I've ever heard. This geometry rock reads more like a chaotic acid trip than anything else, from the highs, to the lows, to everything in between. It's really 90% composition, and 10% improvisation, and this can be heard in the wailing guitar solo of every song. There's also an exotic sound to be heard, stemming from the use of the gong to ominously foreshadow the journey to come. Truly ranging in atmosphere from dramatic detail to calming minimalism that leads you through the entire album in one fluid motion, PERHAPS definitely acts as a tour guide with Volume One, leading the listener through a series of twists and turns that eventually develop into a resolution for the album. Overall, the album seems to be in the business of drawing sources from a number of genres including acid rock, post-rock, jazz, and even punk. Rhythm and guitar are used more as facilitators of timbre and textures than melodically, which leads to a very interesting, experimentally-based endeavor into the minds of the artists who produced this. A lot of work went into this and it shows. Loved this album!!!
Report this review (#851794)
Posted Tuesday, November 6, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars To pass up this record would be musical sacrilege. By minute two of this 40-minute masterpiece, a listener will find him or herself at the mercy of chief songwriter, Jim Haney, wandering through a world of melodic bass, technical guitar patterns, and swirling soundscapes. Volume I dares an audience to embark on a challenging journey, teetering on the brink of rock insanity and straddling the stylistic boundaries of three-piece music like a psychedelic Cirque du Soleil balancing act. This single-track album, however, does not leave a casual listener bewildered by the complex musical architecture. On the contrary, Perhaps utilizes memorable motifs, solid riffs, and the funkiest of bass lines to draw a listener in for more. As the band continues its descent into the experimental ether, guest musicians make their way to the sonic stage. The scene shifts to a deep, trance-like floatation through a carefully charted space of effects laden low-end and schizophrenic horn musings. After rising to an explosive climax of guitar-driven rock and roll, the trio moves their audience into the grand finale of Volume I. The final movement of the record begins with a beautifully intimate bass progression paired with an atmospheric, dream-like guitar accompaniment. As the strings begin to swell, the group demonstrates an intense musical power that carries their audience effortlessly through the final moments of the album. After hearing Perhaps: Volume I, a listener will surely anticipate the upcoming releases and tour dates the group has planned for 2013.
Report this review (#853189)
Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2012 | Review Permalink
Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars `Volume One' by new band Perhaps has rapidly been picking up a lot of attention in a short time from Prog appreciators, and without a doubt it's one of the most exhausting, maddening and totally schizophrenic releases in some time! One minute it's a psych heavy fusion jam, then experimental hard Kraut, tuneless aggressive noisy dark jazz and menacing cinematic Post Rock. Full of lovely fluid grumbling bass, psychotic but tight drumming and manic finger-plucking electric guitar runs, it makes for an astounding and exhilarating piece of instrumental prog rock that reminds us just how good and truly progressive, original and still surprising this genre can be when done well.

Fans of the ragged guitar jams of Guru Guru, angry Yes moments like the opening of `Close To The Edge' and much of `Gates Of Delirium' and the jazzy aggression/noisy ambience of `Lizard/Islands era King Crimson will find much to appreciate here. Add in a touch of the more manic Mars Volta moments (without the squealing vocals), a pinch of early Canterbury scene and the hostility of Van der Graaf Generator for good measure, throw it all in a blender and you may end up with something like this album!

After a deeply ambient and mysterious drifting introduction, like a rocket taking off, a blast of aggressive quirky bass, rapid-fire chaotic drum-work and insane guitar explodes right in the listener's ear. The 38 minute piece jumps back and forth between frantic and urgent guitar assaults, playful but noisy jazz detours and groovy angular sections, constantly speeding up and down, back and forth, swirling all around the listener. Plenty of blistering soloing, but fortunately there's a looseness to the playing that means it never comes across as an overly-constructed and lifelessly over-technical behemoth. The finale has lovely chiming guitar blowing amongst an impossibly heavy and grand Post-rock orchestral finale that wraps the album in a very stirring and grand manner.

Likely some will find the constantly shifting dynamics, overwhelming noise and heaviness and multitude of styles to be totally jarring and chaotic, and it IS those things, without that actually being a negative description. There's not a lot of subtlety or restraint, so perhaps the band could incorporate a few more sedate and calmer moments into their next release, and give us all some time to breath! But Perhaps are a band with endless ideas and potential, and hopefully a bright future on the strength of this pure draining rush of noisy adrenaline and fascinating mix of textures awaits. `Volume One' is like an atomic blast up the stuffy old prog-fans rear-ends - just what this genre needs every now and then! Four stars.

What a way to make an entrance!

Report this review (#853525)
Posted Thursday, November 8, 2012 | Review Permalink
Neu!mann
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.

Report this review (#856370)
Posted Sunday, November 11, 2012 | Review Permalink
Einsetumadur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 13/15P. This group accomplishes something which nowadays is totally unusual in that genre: they feed fractured, riff-laden high-speed alternative rock with genuine emotion. All of the riffs and crude time signatures are performed with a cathartic rawness which is amazing in its recklessness. Highly recommendable!

I'm pretty amazed how democratic and liberal the music scene has become thanks to institutions such as the ProgArchives. Perhaps, a pretty unknown band project from somewhere in the United States, posted the link to their debut record in the forum, sent some private messages around to advert to their music - and the opinions of many fascinated reviewers came around most rapidly.

Frankly I'm not really interested in recent music if it calls itself 'progressive rock'. Too often this simply means a lukewarm extraction of ideas which were authentic and inventive long time ago. And too often you have to sit through big accumulations of riffs which are perfectly exerted, but which leave you asking why you actually listen to this kind of music if nothing really grabs your mind.

This album cannot be defined by any genre name. The concept, i.e. throwing the listener into an extended spacy trip while rattling his head with some edgy stoner riffs from time to time, could be compared to what Amon Dl once intended to do with Phallus Dei and Yeti. But don't understand any comparison which I mention in this review as a concrete point of similarity, but rather as an indefinite and vague speculation about which musicians these guys might have listened to in their youth.

The beginning of Volume One is pretty inconspicuous, consisting of some low-key ambient textures. But the rumbling (3+3+2)/8 part which comes afterwards, approximately after two minutes or so, is a perfect signpost in which directions the whole matter is not going to go: mushy prog metal, Genesis-like retro prog and ambient music. You don't know what is going to happen during the course of the 38 minutes, but the perfectly balanced and energetic analog sound - loud, boosty and with an estimated constant tape recording level of ~+0-5dB - and the crunchy guitars are big fun to listen to.

From this point the band navigates through lots of different sections which are interrupted again and again, but the whole piece is firmly kept together by a consistent feeling. Concerning the guitars you might feel reminded of Steve Howe and Syd Barrett from time to time (I sometimes also feel reminded of Conrad Keely of Trail of Dead live in concert), but basically guitarist Sean McDernott just does what he likes. This includes competent finger picking, distorted octaved solo lines, controlled fiddling with the tuning mechanics and lots of wild shredding. I especially appreciate the weird frequency modulations which most of the participating instruments are sent through. At every corner you find some noisy bits or a breakdown with shrieking oscillator sounds - and then the whole motor starts turning again, just like a checkered little machine which is busy rotating and firing in every possible direction all of the time. And this strange little machine is mainly propelled by the joint forces of Don Taylor (drums) and Jim Haney (bass). They don't catch the listener's ears by solo parts, but rather work as a unit with a reliable timing and exact interplay throughout the big multitude of signature changes. Those two guys definitely deserve to be listened to concentratedly as well!

A further perfectly working ingredient in this colorful melange are the brass instruments. They don't dominate the music at any time, but rather appear as solists with a defined solo part at one place or another. A part which already appealed to me at the first listen was the saxophone solo at 8:01; and while the saxophone improvisation is really good by itself, I'm even a bit more amazed about the sustained jazzy guitar shredding McDernott adds about two minutes later. It's savage and rough, but its frame is melodic, and this type of fiddling and string bending is what makes improvisations like these successful. This passage gives me the same kind of feeling I get when I listen to Matching Mole's Part of the Dance - also a piece which profits from three soloists jamming at the same time. Of course, the brass instruments on this album are also processed through various filters and contribute to the surreal and gurgling atmosphere of the piece. And I may not forget to mention the brief parts which show up repeatedly for some seconds and sound like marches of a village brass band, arranged for bass, drums and guitar. I never heard something like this in that context!

If there is one section in Volume One which allows a split of the piece, it's the cesura around the 30 minutes mark. The last 8 minutes which follow afterwards are performed in a slow 6/8 metre and are the closest the band comes to post rock. Starting from a peaceful double-tracked guitar part the band adds layer on layer until an uplifting string arrangement (yes, a real arrangement, scored by Ben Talmy) prepares the listener for a grandiose soaring guitar solo which affords a worthy finale to this utterly great album.

Of course, assigning a 'masterpiece' label to a debut album (which too was released some mere weeks ago) isn't really justifiable. As soon as new albums follow one will see where this band project is heading to. Whilst the music works out perfectly well without vocals, I could imagine it could work out a little bit better if its frame was more concise at some places. But I'm really not sure - repeated listens might reveal new details about this piece, maybe things which could have been better, maybe parts whose great purpose I cannot even guess at the moment. A preliminary 4-star rating (actually a 4.5-rating), anyway, seems absolutely legitimate - connected with the strong recommendation to listen to this piece (it's available via streaming, donation-funded download and (!) MC cassette).

Report this review (#856696)
Posted Sunday, November 11, 2012 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Perhaps is an interesting new group that comes around with this impressive album consisting of just one single instrumental track of 37 minutes and 48 seconds of music. The band is a trio (guitar, bass and drums) helped out by a saxophonist, a trumpet player and a string quartet. According to the information given, the whole package was recorded live in the studio, which - given the complex nature of the music - makes it even more amazing. The music was written by bassist Jim Haney (who also designed the CD cover), but this is clearly a great team work, with guitarrist Sean McDermott and drummer Don Taylor showing fabulous skill and technique. The guest musicians area also terrific players. Production is excellent.

When asked to do this review, I was not really keen about doing it. After all, the style they play is hardly my favorite. However, theres no way to be not impressed by such sheer display of talent and power. The long track has, as you may have guessed, several parts and different moods and musical tempos. Some are more "conventional", with great licks from McDermott, and some are more chaotic, in the best King Crimson and avant jazz tradition, with Tom Weeks (sax) and Bryan Murphy (trumpet) giving no small amount of contribution. The last part is one of the most captivating in my opinion, with a fine build up with the string section taking a bigger role. As a whole the piece is very rich, a roller coaster of emotions and sounds that will take for quite a ride.

All in all a very strong debut that will certainly please the fans of the genre - and beyond, as it was already showed by the highly praising reviews that came before mine. Im glad I had the opportunity to listen to such new and strong group and I think everyone who loves music should give them a chance. If youre interested go to their official site where their CD can be downloaded (you name the price). Im looking forward to hear their next releases.

Rating: personally Id give it 3 stars. In the Post rock/math rock genre Id give it 5. So a 4 star rating is the ideal for this release.

Report this review (#857057)
Posted Monday, November 12, 2012 | Review Permalink
Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Eclectic Prog Team
2 stars Perhaps a listener will like this. Perhaps a listener will not.

'Volume One' After a lengthy passage of near silence, Perhaps erupts into a gangly barrage of quirky rock, somewhat similar to the opening of 'The Hemulic Voluntary Band' by Ritual. There is some playful toying around various chord progressions, as well as some foot-stomping country rock interspersed with flashes of early Yes: Think about the eccentricity of 'Perpetual Change' in this regard. After evolving into brisk jazz, the band introduces a flailing, squealing saxophone that adds a touch of the avant-garde. The lead guitar similarly shrieks and trills like a tortured rooster. Boisterous and zany, the cacophony does not relent for many minutes. After several jarring shifts, the reverb-laden guitar lets loose over a jazzier background. At about nineteen minutes, the album moves into 1970s Miles Davis land: Cavernous trumpet over a semi-psychedelic repetitive rhythm section. As more electronic disturbances take hold, the piece becomes very much like The Mars Volta. The guitar playing alone is musical psychosis. Volume One is impressive just for being recorded live. However, the arrangement has been impossible for me to follow. Some parts just seem to be thrown in without regard to pace or structure (like the twenty-seven minute mark). And then the music ends at thirty minutes, coming back with unrelated, hushed guitar and strings building and crashing down in a completely different style. In this way, Perhaps is the Anglagard of the post/math rock category.

Report this review (#857516)
Posted Monday, November 12, 2012 | Review Permalink
Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
3 stars A trip down memory lane...

The guys in the band sure seem to be anxious of knowing my opinion of their ambitious 38 minute suite of a debut record. Well, let's not waste any more time and dive into my somewhat underdeveloped thoughts on the music!

I haven't really had the time to absorb this material after listening to it approximately 4,5 times, where one session was somewhat abrupt which resulted in me pausing the music never returning to that exact same spot again. Based on my initial impressions I found the music to be a hopscotch of great ideas and moments that don't actually make much sense in this continuous form. Volume One features some very good moments which at first sight seem genuinely intriguing but after some inspection made me think of some of the compositions that have featured the same moments done to much greater effect. The comparison of the opening few minutes to that one particular Yes masterpiece is undeniable, but that's actually one of the many great tributes that are buried within layers of this track's sound. There is one point (at 14:45) where I actually began to think that I was listening to one of those medley tracks by Ruins (Progressive Rock Medley being the obvious favorite of mine)!

After hearing tributes to King Crimson, the Doors and everyone in between the two, it finally dawned on me that none of this material actually had anything distinguishably personal about it. Yes, the jam-like playing is marvelously executed and some of the souring saxophone moments actually manage to paint some pretty vivid landscapes (especially the part around 20:30). Unfortunately nothing here manages to actually move me on a personal level and once these 38 minutes are up I swiftly move on to my usual routines. I also don't particularly enjoy the noodling guitar sound featured on this recording. Please note that I'm referring to the actually sound and not to the playing, since that's actually done nicely!

I didn't really understand the reason why Perhaps was labeled as being a Post Rock/Math rock act since the sound featured for the majority of the running time has more in common with RIO/Avant-Prog or even Eclectic Prog. Luckily the last seven minutes of the opus do feature some distinct Post Rock sounds (even if the guitar sound and the massive grainy percussion arrangements are still a bit rough on my ears). These last few minutes of the composition's running time do make it seem more pompous than the scraps and pieces that came before and thus almost making me believe that I enjoyed myself more than I actually did. Nevertheless, once the music is over there's none of the satisfaction that I get out of listening to the great lengthy tracks from progressive giants of the past. Having said that, I still believe that Volume One is a grower so I'll give it the benefit of the doubt.

*** star songs: Volume One (37:48)

Report this review (#864335)
Posted Wednesday, November 21, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars Wow ! The most intense listening session I had ever been through.

This band from Boston must have been good at math in secondary. It's one of the weirdest debuts ever. How can you do a first album with a 37 minute song ? Well I don't know. Perhaps they know the awnser. In this long song, this trio and some session musicians brought us an epic that has everything. Weird soundscapes, guitar sounds la King Crimson, themes that keep changing every thirty seconds, drums in the styles of Billy Cobham and Neil Peart, distortioned saxophones and trumpet that sounds like Miles Davis and an not so epic finale. That's the little problem. The production hasn't the best quality and the epic is a little messy

But if you are a math-rock fan, get this album right now. You will not be dissapointed.

Report this review (#865346)
Posted Friday, November 23, 2012 | Review Permalink
J-Man
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The Bostonian trio known as Perhaps is definitely one of the more interesting new acts I've had the pleasure of listening to recently. Released in September of 2012, Volume One was recorded in a live setting - quite a massive undertaking considering the complexity of the material in question, and also an interesting choice for a debut album. You just don't hear rock bands record 'regular' albums in a live setting too frequently, and, possibly even more infrequently these days, recorded using actual analog tape. At this point, we're only scratching the surface of what makes Perhaps such a unique ensemble, but their music is definitely something that should be experienced by fans of complex and jam-oriented experimental rock music.

Stylistically, we're dealing with music that fits comfortably within the math-rock category. Not to be confused with post-rock, Perhaps' sound is fast-paced, complex, and often times very experimental. Volume One has a very jam-oriented feeling about it, as the energetic drumming and frantic fretwork is likely to keep the listener on their toes for the album's entire duration. Consisting of only one track that nears forty minutes in length, Volume One will certainly require all of your attention, but this attention is well-rewarded after many listens. The superb displays of musicianship, including some nice saxophone soloing from Tom Weeks, a great display of trumpet finesse from Bryan Murphy, and well-executed use of an orchestra at the end of the piece, makes Volume One an incredibly enjoyable listen, even it's not one that sticks with me for very long. The sections can be disjointed at times, and a good portion of the album feels more like a vehicle for technical acrobatics than anything incredibly memorable - which, as mentioned earlier, makes for an undoubtedly fun listen, but not something that sticks with me for too long after the observation is over. With the exception of the final five minutes of the piece, Volume One feels a bit too jam-oriented to make a huge impact on this listener. The production is also rather muddy and unpolished, which is probably to be expected from a release recorded in a live setting, but I think it lacks the power necessary to make Perhaps' music really shine.

That being said, more devout fans of the math rock genre might get more long term enjoyment from Volume One than I do - the instrumental talents of Jim Haney, Sean McDermott, and Don Taylor are unquestionable, and there are certainly plenty of interesting things going on here. Though I'd like to see the band focus a bit more on their psychedelic and post rock side next time around, which is where I think they shine the brightest, Volume One is still a very solid debut from start to finish. It's also worth noting that Perhaps has generously offered the album for free download from their BandCamp page, so there's really no excuse for not giving it a listen - while Volume One may not be a masterpiece in this reviewer's eyes, Perhaps is a band with a hell of a lot of potential and their debut is not one to miss!

Report this review (#866344)
Posted Sunday, November 25, 2012 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars With a word like Perhaps, which signals uncertainty and procrastination, it is a lovely paradox that this band named so bear a certain and urgent energy in its sonic scheme, a scheme that reveals itself proud in its structural lunacy. Perhaps is, to explain it more accurately, the name of a new standard for the math-rock language, a standard fueled by an amalgam of eclectic approaches to other rock trends ? post rock, stoner, progressive psychedelia, jazz-rock. The band's debut release is a one-track album (cassette) entitled "Volume One": it was recorded live at Mike's Basement Studio in May, to be released in September: a very impressive jewel in the ever-refreshing avant-garde rock scene of the USA. The musical travel of "Volume One" kicks in with a 2 minute prologue whose distant aura sounds like the departure of a boat in a mysterious ocean. Then comes the first explosion of exquisite rock madness, a bonfire of sound that encapsulates the power of early Don Caballero and the extravagance of later Hella, with the jazz-rock swings not being absent in the ever-developing rhythmic engineering that goes on flowing through the successive motifs. McDermott's work is like Ian Williams-meets-Steve Howe-meets-Larry La Londe, while the bassist's style bears strong heritages from Michael Manring's vitality and Tony Levin's groove. The 5/4 section that gets started before the 8- minute mark feels particularly ballsy: the presence of the guest sax is a big help concerning that elaboration of complex strength. The following motif goes to farther territories of mischief and complexity. A few seconds after the 19-minute mark, the band creates an interlude built on a spacey standard of jazz-rock (with hints to late-60s Miles Davis). Later on, the band goes back to the realms of explicit rocking energy, going for a Sabbath-Zeppelin strategy cleverly distorted by the math-rock factor. This moment of neurotic joy works, in the grand scheme of things, as a threshold to the epic finale, which is an orgiastic exercise on post-rock built on the models of Maudlin Of The Well and Godspeed You Black Emperor! This final passage is the very essence of magnificence, sad yet vibrant, reflective yet electrifyingly intense. This is the "natural" conclusion of a musical journey designed to show Perhaps as a very relevant artistic force in the current experimental rock scene in the USA. Nothing else to say.
Report this review (#868189)
Posted Wednesday, November 28, 2012 | Review Permalink
Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This band is an instrumental music power trio from Boston: Jim Haney ( bass and composer), Sean McDermott (guitar ) and Don Taylor (drums). This album consists of one song titled "Volume One" (like the album itself) with a duration of nearly 38 minutes, played in continuity, with only two or three pauses done as silences. It has very energetic playing by the three members of the band, sometimes chaotic and noisy. Recorded live using analogue tape equipment, and with the aid of a sax and trumpet section and some strings, and sometimes adding some "electronic" noises, their music has several influences : Hawkwind, King Crimson, Emerson Lake & Palmer (without keyboards) and even Yes. I dont know if they had the music written in scores or if it was recorded in parts, because the changes in structure are very frequent and I think that maybe they had some basic musical structures and they also had some parts on which improvisation was let free. There are also some influences from Jazz music and Jazz-Rock music on which the King Crimsons influences are more clear for me. Some parts are also influenced by Avant ?Garde music, and the guitar playing sometimes sounds very influenced by Robert Fripp. The three main players are very good musicians, as they play without losing the continuity and the speed of the music. They sound like they rehearsed a lot playing together. Sometimes the music sounds "angry", "furious" and very heavy and aggressive. By the 30 minutes of duration, a string section is used to accompany the music of the trio in which seems the last part of the song which also finishes in an energetic mood. I think that they did some editing and processing to the recordings, adding some sound effects to some instruments like the trumpet. It is a very good job, and being recorded using tapes and without using computer technology and Pro-Tools makes it much harder to do it. It was released on cassette tape. A strange thing because this kind of recording media is now "out-of-fad" and less used by the general public. In conclusion,it is not the kind of music that I listen to very often but sometimes it is good to listen to energetic heavy music like this.
Report this review (#868211)
Posted Wednesday, November 28, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars I live in Fort Worth Texas. Not your stereo-typical prog rock hot bed of activity. In the old US'of A, Pennsylvania and Boston are where it's at when it comes to prog rock heaven. This trio of musicians from the Boston rock and reverberate like an agittated, fire ant funeral mound, swooning over Yes's "Close to the Edge's Solid Time of Change. " (Think Steve Howe's spidery guitar intro), And that's just the first several sizzling minutes of Perhap's "Volume One" prog opus, sweet, bitter suite.

Wait a minute, wait an hour, wait a lifetime. Perhaps Perhaps will singe the skin off my ear drums for 33 and a 1/3 more minutes? And as if you didn't know, the answer is a resounding yes! They mesmerize and rock at the speed of "Man or Astro Man," gnashing baby teeth through half a dozen King Crimson sleeping tablets. "Volume One" is reminiscent of a "trip the light fantastic", effervescence tornado, or an incandescent permanent wave rushing past a charge of the light brigade, through a flurry of keleidoscopic acid flashbacks, with a blurred soundtrack background, drenched in Coltrane kaos, and Miles and miles of trumpet.

Perhaps "Perhaps" will crush you? Or perhaps you will crush hard on Perhaps, like I did for their replendent math rock. A riff, a riff, my kingdom for a riff! Hush! But I can't shush, because I'm over a cliff for Perhaps! And I'm laughing out loud, because in an era where delux editions of many prog albums cost upwards of 30 dollars, I only had to pay Amazon 89 cents for Perhap's tour de force, cerebral bomb blast glass of Prog Rock laudamum! 9/10

Report this review (#868460)
Posted Thursday, November 29, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars The first seven minutes of Perhaps' Volume One is some of the most challenging, frantic, and rewarding music I have heard this year. To think that three guys recorded this live in a basement only adds to the impressive quality of the performances, which last for a full 37 minutes and cover a myriad of styles and techniques. The main point of reference is Post- Rock, but not necessarily in the vein of GY!BE or Mogwai (that will come later); I am most reminded of Don Caballero and An Endless Sporadic, two groups I quite admire and it appears Perhaps does too. If I had to sum up Volume One in five words? Umphrey's McGee meets Mr. Bungle.

The intro to Close To The Edge is recalled in the first two minutes, but the next five establish Perhaps as a new power-player in the Math Rock scene. Immediately, the virtuousic playing of Jim Haney (bass), Sean McDermott (guitar), and Don Taylor (drums) is on display: But don't expect any Rush or ELP from this power trio; Perhaps never sits on one riff or pattern too long so as to allow it to stagnate, yet the transitions are fluid and not jarring. After the initial onslaught, we are treated to a guitar solo, Drum/Sax solo, and finally a trumpet solo about 20 minutes in. This is the only section that drags for me personally, as the five minute trumpet solo wears a bit too long before it morphs into a space-rock jam. Sean McDermott does not recall David Gilmour however...his Frippian figures are raunchy and unusual in this context, which I really appreciate. By the 27 minute mark the group whips out another furious run of head-spinning notes which makes you wonder "how are they STILL doing this?" Finally, the last 5 minutes pay homage to heroes Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Mogwai, and end Volume One on a more traditional note.

My only complaint of Volume One has nothing to do with the music itself, but its delivery: The only physical format of this release is on cassette. While the retro appeal and indie aesthetic is endearing, I have no way to play the silly thing. Sure, I can burn a CD to listen to in the car, or put it on the iPod, but give me the genuine article. I know this is just a fundamental difference between Gen-Xers such as myself and Gen-Yers as Perhaps appear to be, but it is worth noting. What I have no reservations about is the live performance capabilities of the band, which I look forward to if they ever tour the Midwest. You have absolutely nothing to lose by streaming/downloading Volume One, and I highly recommend doing so right now.

Report this review (#868499)
Posted Thursday, November 29, 2012 | Review Permalink
Progfan97402
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars I can't believe anything like this came out of 2012! This Boston trio of bassist Jim Harney, guitarist Sean McDermitt, and drummer Don Taylor (and some outside help too) recorded this truly mindbending work called Volume One, which clocks around 40 minutes. This is some truly intense playing and jamming, these guys made it seem so effortless, but in reality extremely difficult to pull this off (this was the same reaction I got from the title track of Colosseum's Valentyne Suite, the intense passages were very difficult to pull off, but the band made it seem so effortless). At times the music features rather distorted guitar, other times, more jazzy, other times more in the space rock vein. These guys rarely give a rest, but there are some calmer passages. Check out the drumming too. I can't believe what I was hearing. Perhaps the finest new recordings from a new band I have ever heard! I acquired a cassette (and a download) of this from the band's website (as I don't let old technology go, as I continue to own cassettes and LPs along with CDs, just as I do VHS along with DVDs and Blu-Rays). This group deserves to be on a label, so their material can be available on CD. Amazing stuff you need to hear!
Report this review (#874351)
Posted Monday, December 10, 2012 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars Even after reviewing music for more than twenty years, I am still pleased when I am contacted by a band I have never heard of and am asked if I would mind reviewing their album. So after hearing from bassist Jim Haney, I went off to Bandcamp where I had a couple of surprises. The first is that there is only one song on the album, but it is 38 minutes long to be fair, and that it is also possible to buy this on cassette! I mean, when was the last time you bought anything on tape! Perhaps are a Boston trio of Jim, guitarist Sean McDermott and drummer Don Taylor, and this was recorded live in the studio with assorted guest musicians who come and go during the piece, providing sax, trumpet, cello, viola and violins.

The one word that really sums this up is "intense" as in many ways it is quite draining and almost too much to take in one go. I know that this is a mixture of composition and improvisation but there are some obvious break points and personally I would have preferred if this had been cut into smaller chunks. But as it hasn't, it's a case of dive in and keep going right to the end. I am not surprised that this album has been reviewed so much, and also am not surprised that every reviewer seems to pick on a different element (although Yes and Krautrock are fairly consistent themes). These guys mix Art Zoyd with Protest The Hero, Miles Davis with Steve Vai; it really is all over the shop as it brings together free form jazz with mathrock and progressive to create something that is both intriguing and quite hard to listen to at times.

All of the guys are brilliant musicians, and they obviously have a deep understanding of each other and they can lock in tightly when they need to, providing great complex runs and hooks, while there are other times when they all go off on tangents and one wonders if they are even in the same room. There is a false finish to the album at about 28 minutes, and I did wonder if we were going to be 'treated' to the longest outro of all time, but they break free of constraints and the climax is superb. This is something that can only be appreciated by those who want their music not only to break down boundaries, but to stamp all over them and bury them under a morass of minor chords so that they never darken their ears again. To get this, visit perhaps.bandcamp.com

Report this review (#874540)
Posted Tuesday, December 11, 2012 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 'Volume One' - Perhaps (7/10)

A couple of months ago, Perhaps approached me with the request that I check out their album, then very newly released. Since then, I've watched from afar as acclaim for their debut has steadily increased. It is- to my limited knowledge of the genre- one of the most acclaimed and momentous math rock albums to be released this year. Although "Volume One" consists of a single track, Perhaps have created a dense and complex first impression. Although their eclectic mix of atmospheric, progressive, and fusion rock styles demands several listens to properly sink in, "Volume One" is a wild ride with a bouquet of gifts for the patient listener. In spite of the scattered and occasionally meandering composition, Perhaps have established themselves as a band with seemingly limitless potential.

For those- like me- who are less involved and engaged with the math rock world, it's an often energetic derivative of post rock with a penchant for wacky guitars and dissonant tonal patterns. Perhaps' sound can't be purely defined as such, but it's a good place to start. Although "Volume One" is given a cold, gradually building opening, the guitar eventually erupts into a flurry of technically impressive licks and twangy riffs, often fusing lead and rhythms together effortlessly. Considering the impressive edge of Sean McDermott's guitar playing, it's an interesting touch (or lack thereof) that he keeps his guitar tone clean and relatively plain throughout. Although the live production is crisp and clear, "Volume One" feels raw and unmodified, a trait made impressive by the fact that the music is so impressive from a technical standpoint. Other reviewers have compared the album's opening with Yes' glorious "Close to the Edge" opus, and I'd tend to agree; it's easy to see a resemblance between Dermott's frantic playing and Steve Howe's distinctive rock-oriented fingerpicking.

Although the guitars are the most pronounced element of Perhaps' sound, the rhythm section is equally as impressive. Don Taylor's drum performance is a solid mix of rock rhythms and jazzy percussion. Particularly during the album's most energetic moments, Taylor demonstrates a very keen ear for left field time signatures and impressive tightness. Bassist and main composer Jim Haney's performance is the most subtle of the trio, but also the most consistent. While the other two instrumentalists go wild, he provides support with an endless stream of catchy grooves and bass hooks. Perhaps have a strong chemistry together as an act, and the live recording gives them an opportunity to play off of each other; it's an organic performance that you rarely hear on a studio album.

Although "Volume One" begins as a strictly math rock affair, it's not long before they show their other faces, those being the forms of atmospheric post-rock and jazz fusion. Although Don Taylor's drum performance always betrays a hint of jazz, the album takes a plunge into strict fusion territory once the guest musicians start showing up. Tom Weeks and Brian Murphy offer saxophone and trumpet solos respectively, giving "Volume One" the temporary vibe of being a recorded jazz club performance. The trumpet in particular really works for Perhaps' sound, with a wondering solo that instantly recalls Miles Davis. Perhaps also enlist the help of a string section. The violins, viola and cello (arranged by Ben Talmi) do for Perhaps' post-rock angle what the trumpet and sax did for their jazz fusion. The album closes with a wonderfully fleshed out climax that will draw strong comparisons to the cinematic sound of Godspeed You! Black Emperor. It's unfortunate that the strings and post-rock approach are not explored to a greater extent on the album, because it makes up one of the most impressive passages on the album.

Although the performance is fluid and consistently impressive, the structure of the composition falters occasionally. This is not to say that there is filler anywhere on "Volume One", but there are times where Perhaps' enthusiasm for performance leads them into indulgent waters. The jazz fusion passage that takes up a good piece of the album's centre seems to go on for longer than would have been optimal. While the album begins with a fierce momentum, the psychedelic, Mars Volta-esque jazz soundscapes are not nearly as sonically pleasant as the rest of the album, nor do they share the depth of their more structured passages. Listening to "Volume One", there's a great deal of it I really love, but the album's patchy midsection can feel aimless to the verge of tedium.

"Volume One" is raw and eager, and its eclectic, experimental take on instrumental rock takes some listening to appreciate. It's certainly rough in areas, but that's part of its charm; Perhaps' musical direction is honest and unpredictable. They rest at the crossroads of fusion, math and post rock, and the result of the combination is richly enjoyable, although the band has left plenty of room to polish up their act. It's taken me some time to warm up to, but I can see with some certainty that Perhaps are one of the most interesting new acts to come out this year.

Report this review (#877285)
Posted Monday, December 17, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is in my opinion the second best album this year, after Anglagard's Viljans Oga, and I've never liked a math rock album this much. However, this is not entirely math rock. It's more of a combination of most styles of progressive rock, in a continuously evolving order, constantly changing in feeling.

The start of the album is known to be slow, a long mysterious synthesizer wave that takes more than two minutes before the song really gets started in a wild explosion of quick guitar lines and loud drumming. It goes from easy jamming to a small build-up, and back again, and that continues for around six minutes. Then, the guitar fades away, and a squirting trumpet takes over with an acid-jazz-rock-like solo. This part sounds a lot like the instrumental section of 21st Century Schizoid Man, with the drums and bass doing a sort of rhythmic improvisation and the trumpet sounding like KC's Ian McDonald.

After that, the song 'stops' for a while, with a part that sounds like the end of TaaB pt. 1 (Yes, it all sounds like something else), picking it back up with the quick guitar play of the first part, but this time better. It's more rhythmic, more logical, and there are some very memorable parts. At 28 minutes, when the music has repeated itself enough to get you comfortable, but it's just not annoying, they make an end to it.

Well, not really the end, but the start of the final build-up. The drums lead the music here, and eventually, the violins and the guitars follow. The last seven minutes feature an epic haze of GYBE-like post rock. This is a real highlight of the album, leaving you stunned. The most amazing is how well this fitted after the rest of the album. After the uncontrolled mix of emotions, the musicians now really get it together and that creates a feeling of satisfaction. The album has rounded itself up and the journey is over.

The album is original, interesting and modern, but still not perfect. First of all, prog fans who prefer more calm music will eventually get annoyed by the constant push and the rough drums. Besides, the first part sounds a bit too messy, even for math rock. It appears to be a bit lost, as the guitar line keeps shifting between styles. For me, this album will be rounded down to four stars, although I would have rather given it a 4,5. Great album, especially for fans of avant, math rock, eclectic prog, post rock and maybe even jazz-rock. Too bad it's not available as a cd (yet).

Report this review (#879368)
Posted Thursday, December 20, 2012 | Review Permalink
Roland113
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars So I was asked to write a review of the album by the band, and honestly I struggled with the request for a week or two, mulling my thoughts and opinions. Honestly, I waffled, at times I thought that it would be better for all parties involved if I didn't write a review, other times I felt that I should write one. Finally, I decided that good or bad, I was going to give my feedback.

The production and sound of the album is very good, even more so when you consider that this was a live recording. I would have preferred that the bass was mixed a little hotter, but again, in a live setting, you often don't get everything that you want.

The musicianship is phenomenal and utterly chaotic. Major props to the chops (see what I did there) of drummer Don Taylor for playing the drums like he was in a knife fight. For the majority of the piece, he doesn't as much keep the beat as he augments the melody with one of the longest drum fills on record. Jim Haney and Sean McDermott are equally aggressive and chaotic on their various guitars.

For me though, this was a little too chaotic. With all three musicians synced up throughout the piece, there was very little to keep me grounded amid the waves of notes. There were parts that I started to enjoy, but just about when I latched onto them is exactly when something exploded and went off in a different direction.

I struggled with the rating but finally settled on two stars based on the guidelines of this site; 2 stars = Collectors / Fans only. The truth is that I'm not a huge fan of chaotic music and while this CD certainly has moments of amazing musicianship, it did not transcend the chaos and connect with me. If you're into Lark's Tongue and similar music, I recommend that you give it a whirl. For me though, it just wasn't my cup of tea.

Report this review (#879976)
Posted Friday, December 21, 2012 | Review Permalink
Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars Extra points should be given to this band for existing in Boston, where despite having two world class music institutions (The New England Conservatory and Berklee), the city has for decades taken a hostile attitude toward experimental forms of rock music.

I find myself enjoying this single-track album immensely. The music, to me, is highly reminiscent of late-era Captain Beefheart (around the time of "Shiny Beast"), with a heavy emphasis on the agressive jazz fusion aspects of the sound. I admit, that this may not be the kind of music the casual prog fan might appreciate, but for those who enjoy a raucus rollercoaster ride, with fierce soloing, this is a true pleasure.

Report this review (#901132)
Posted Monday, January 28, 2013 | Review Permalink
Matti
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This album has become one of the most reviewed from the year 2012, due to direct activation of PA reviewers. It consists of one single composition called 'Volume One' that lasts almost 38 minutes. It's composed by bassist Jim Haney, the rest of PERHAPS is Sean McDermott on guitar and Don Taylor on drums. I've never been very keen on this sort of trios; even with RUSH I prefer the phases including some keyboards. This music feels so technically oriented (brain over heart, you know) that the band probably is adept to perform it live as excellently as on record.

Since I mentioned Rush, I must point out that this music is similar to Rush only marginally. (Those more familiar with this kind of stuff can give you better comparisons. MARS VOLTA which I haven't listened to, is mentioned.) First it's all instrumental. It is mostly heavy power play and the musicianship is excellent, but instead of Rush's uplifting hard rock PERHAPS comes closer to experimental prog rock - such as 'Lark's Tongues in Aspic' by KING CRIMSON - with some Fusion in it. To me the first eight or so minutes are plain boring: fast and furious playing that lacks clear melodies and emotion. But my reception does warm up a bit during the track. Later on the guest musicians (sax, trumpet, strings) add some needed colour to the music. Sorry to say this, but to my ears the guitar sounded - or at least that's my impression now after hearing the piece twice some hours ago - quite the same all the way (I'm talking of the SOUND per se, I'm not saying the playing lacks dynamics and variety, far from it!), and also the percussion lacks the surpriseful width of Neil Peart's amazing work with Rush.

My interest has never been caught by mere technical brilliance ("X notes per second"). But there is more to it here, otherwise my listening experience would have been much more negative. I often get a bad mood when hearing "noisy" music that leaves me cold emotionally. Instead of staying in my frustrated first impression I had no difficulties paying close attention to the whole piece and turn the cassette over when it ended, and re-listen to it immediately. Clearly I prefer the latter half of the piece with more guest playing, and the music started to reach my emotions too... rather faintly though. I got some psychedelic vibes and the favourite part featuring a saxophone resembled distantly the more avantgardish, RIO-ish end of Canterbury (Henry Cow, Hugh Hopper and such). With these more interesting spots I raise my rating from two stars to three.

Report this review (#904081)
Posted Friday, February 1, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars This review is a long time coming, as I was asked to write one all the way back in November, but I'm finally writing it now. The core of the band consists of just a drummer, a bassist, and a guitar player, but there are many guest musicians, including saxophone, trumpet, and strings. This album was actually my introduction into math rock, a genre I have grown to love, and it is still my favorite album of the genre. The piece starts out much like Close to the Edge, building quietly for a bit until it finally comes frantically crashing in. The whole thing is very high energy, with a constant unrelenting rhythm section. Guitar is for the most part the main focus, but sax will occasionally take over and there are times where they both are coming at you at the same time. It being so frantic and high energy you might expect it to kind of meander on at times, but it feels focused, and never tires.

The frantic battle of guitar and sax continues for awhile until about 13 minutes in when it shifts and the sax disappears. The drum and guitar just start hammering in, fading out, and hammering back in. Then starts to dramatically pick back up in a very Crimsonian way. After that it starts to sound very playful and maybe a little Zappa-esque. It then gets a bit jazzier and starts shifting tempo multiple times. It's a very bright sounding piece with tones they use, if also quite chaotic. I have to comment that I love Sean McDermott's guitar tone.

About 19 minutes in trumpet comes, sounding a bit like King Crimson's Lizard, but with perhaps's experimental edge and constant rhythm keeping it sounding their own. As it continues it develops into more of a psychedelic krautrock sound that works fantastically with the addition of trumpet. It starts to progress into more of Hawkwind psychedelia as guitar becomes more and more prominent. It begins to calm down, which is short lived and it becomes louder and energy picks back up as the drums start crashing in louder and louder.

At about 27 minutes in it shifts moods again, becoming more playful, until after a minute it suddenly stops, doing something similar to what they did back at 13 minutes. The drums and guitar keep hammering on for another minute until it descends into a calmer post rock atmosphere. After a few minutes strings are added in as it starts to pick up. It reaches a powerful crescendo until suddenly dropping. It immediately picks back up even higher then it was before. The guitar goes into a solo over the strings and pounding drums that is just fantastic. The drums continue to pound louder and louder over the guitar and the strings until finally it is all brought down into the powerful conclusion of a masterpiece.

This album is truly amazing. I cannot recommend this enough to any fan of progressive music, and it is a fantastic introduction to the post/math rock genre if you've yet to explore it.

Report this review (#964744)
Posted Friday, May 24, 2013 | Review Permalink
memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars An excellent one song album!

They are Perhaps, a power trio from the United States that has entered in the progressive rock scene in the last two years, with a couple of eclectic albums whose title are simply "Volume One" and "Volume Two", now I am focusing on the first one, which is the one you should dig first if you want to know this peculiar band. This album as I told you, consists on only one song which of course has a lot of subdivisions, passages that you will notice while listening to the 37 minutes it offers.

It is evident that a band whose debut album has a long composition must have talented musicians, and Perhaps have them, guys that really know what to do, what to play in the correct moment and what to transmit; their compositional skills are pretty good, you can realize of it here. So it is very brave for a band to do this, and if the result is good, as it actually is, then one has to thank them for it. If you are fan of the math-rockish side of progressive rock (or the proggy side of math-rock) then you will have a good time with Perhaps.

Important to mention that despite the band consists of three members, there are some guest musicians in this record, playing different instruments. Well, the music starts really soft, with a couple of minutes of tranquility, almost silence, but then the explosion appears and the musicians brilliantly give a dose of energy captured in a math rock style, you can tell it by the guitar sound, which is greatly complemented by fast bass and drums. Also, you will find countless time changes that are not necessarily separated in passages or movements, they bring us sudden changes from one second to another, but what is the best, is that none of those changes harm the music, they come naturally and one can easily enjoy what is listening to.

After eight minutes the first of the "non-conventional" instruments appear, it is a saxophone that puts a delicious sound over a cool repetitive bass rhythm and background, here the sound is not really post or math rock, but jazzy or even avant-garde, letting us know that Perhaps don't actually fit in just one label, because they know how to mix up different styles into one single song without being abrupt. A jam can be heard later, the guys become crazy and they do what they want to do, one can only listen with open ears and enjoy this loony sound.

There is a weird moment at minute 13 when it seems they lose their nerves and began to create just noise, but it only lasts some seconds, later the music returns to its math-rock sound, but well, wait a minute because it lasts again some seconds and then the music changes and constantly mutates in question of seconds, taking elements of hard rock in moments, however, their math style prevails. After 19 minutes there is a moment I like because there is a brief stop, then a kind of electronic passage but when it disappears a wonderful trumpet appears while bass and drums mark the rhythm, the sound of the trumpet is exquisite, as well as the music, which is constantly flowing, progressing until it becomes in a space rock tune blended with jazz. It is amazing to see how they managed to reach this style after 20 minutes of a salad of sounds. Amazing!

Well, as you can imagine the changes continue, this blend of styles and craziness given by these three guys is wonderful, so one can have a feast of good music provided by Perhaps in these 37 minutes, however, I believe there are some moments in which their ambitious (in the positive sense of the word) took their nerves and created some seconds of music that can be skipped, but well, there are just brief moments, in general their work is simply wonderful. At minute 30, there is a considerable stop, the fast and energetic sound vanishes, there is a silence and the song begins to build a new structure. Then little by little new elements are being implemented, the music progresses and in for six or seven more minutes Perhaps bring us a gentler post rock sound driven by guitar, which later is beautifully accompanied by strings such as violins, viola and cello, offering a wonderful and emotional post rock passage until the music finishes.

This is a great work by Perhaps, a challenging album whose result is very positive, eclectic, and comfortable for fans of progressive rock and post rock. If you like this kind of long tracks in which you will listen to a blend of different musical styles, you will love this. Almost a masterpiece.

Enjoy it!

Report this review (#1105691)
Posted Thursday, January 2, 2014 | Review Permalink

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