Exposé Online banner

Badwater Fire Company — Badwater Fire Company
((Not on label) no#, 2013, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2013-10-16

Badwater Fire Company Cover artAfter years — decades, really — of "prog" being a dirty word in the main stream of music (and music criticism), it's possible the stigma is starting to wear off. By the end of the 70s, the general concensus was that prog was bad, representing pretentious posing and egotistical indulgence. I won't say that characterization was completely undeserved, but it also wasn't fair: for every bloated arena-prog band a critic can name, I can name ten creative artists who had nothing to do with that scene, either stylistically or artistically. (Art-punk bands like Talking Heads, Pere Ubu, Devo, and the like somehow got a pass, notwithstanding the actual proggy tendencies of their music.) All through the dark years, there was a niche market for neo-prog, but bands in that genre rarely got any attention outside the fanbase, and when they did, it was usually for purposes of ridicule from "cooler" people. Anyway, somewhere along the way, bands like the Mars Volta, which came out of scenes other than the prog underground, started acknowledging the fact that what they played was basically progressive rock. Luckily, this was prog stripped of many of the pretenses that had caused all the problems in the first place. It's natural that musicians who take care in the craft of making music will push themselves to create something new, to step over the boundaries of mainstream clichés. All of this is to lead up to the fact that Badwater Fire Company is a superb entry into this field. This young trio know their stuff, and have come up with a driving sound a bit like a stripped-down Mars Volta getting a bit mathy. The tunes are complex, tightly arranged, and full of the kinds of tricky bits other musicians love to hear. And they kick butt, with a stirring intensity that will cause non-musicians to take notice. Shane Rossmiller's voice jumps out of the speakers, powerful and able to match the fire of his guitar; Michael Pearson (bass) and Matthew Single (drums) navigate the breakneck tunes without skipping a beat (except when they do it intentionally, together, because they're changing time signatures). And beyond that, the melodies are great, the lyrics good, and the production solid. They don't sacrifice any sense of live energy by overdubbing parts here and there. Seek this out, ye denizens of the dark caverns of the prog underground. Unless you insist on Mellotrons, then I guess you're out of luck.

Filed under: New releases, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): Badwater Fire Company

More info
http://badwaterfirecompany.bandcamp.com

Latest news

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more

2017-05-02
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Marco - Marconceptos – Mexican guitarist/keyboardist Marco Gomez surprisingly does all the instrumentation on this collection of self-penned instrumentals. I say this because when listening to the songs, the guitars and...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues