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

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Zao - Ethnic-3 Live – Since the band was founded in the early 70s by ex-Magma members François Cahen (piano) and Yochk'o Seffer (saxes), theirs has been a constant evolutionary path, with no two consecutive Zao...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues