Exposé Online banner

Acumen — Out of Balance
(Holoworld HR12, 1996, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1997-10-01

Out of Balance Cover art

This five-piece from Cincinnati sports an interesting hybrid folk-rock meets hard-space-rock sound; the vocal harmonies, jangly guitars and song-oriented approach could be straight out of late-60s San Francisco, while growling and aggressive fuzz-guitar flashes could almost be from some old Hawkwind album. This is their second release, but the first one this writer has heard. At the helm is multi-guitarist, vocalist, and primary songwriter Dimitrious James, who moves the band through a variety of styles across the album's 13 songs, which for the most part are quite accessible, fun, and easy to like, with a definite grunge factor that gives them a solid contemporary feel. Most of the tunes are driven by James' strummy acoustic 12-string while second guitarist James Linden offers the electric guitar angle. Vocalist, keyboardist, and violinist Kristi Spurlock shares the spotlight, offering harmonies and softening up James' rougher edges. On tracks like "Now" and "Forever" they might even come off sounding a bit like Terraced Garden. More instrumental breaks and soloing space are two things that would have made this album better, as it is every song is nearly wall-to-wall lyrics. That said, this is nonetheless an enjoyable spin that grows with each listen.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 13, 1996 releases

Related artist(s): Acumen

Latest news

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Jeff Beck - Jeff – It’s hard to believe that Jeff Beck is pushing sixty. After successful recent endeavors incorporating techno, sampling, and tribal rhythms into his grab bag mix of backing tracks, the guitar slinger...  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues