Bruce Main — Layers
((Not on label) no#, 2005, CD)
by Sean McFee, Published 2007-03-01Layers is the second album by Bruce Main, a mostly DIY one-man-album type thing that Main wrote, recorded, and has made available on CD Baby. Brian Phraner from Phreeworld, for those who remember him, plays bass on the whole album. The drums appear to be programmed, or if not they sound that way at any rate. There are eight tracks, mixing songs and instrumentals (which are basically field recordings). As a songwriter Main is about average or below-average; the lyrics are trite, the social commentary boilerplate. The guitar work sounds alright, although if that is your main axe it would seem to make sense to make it more prominent in the mix. The vocals are flat. And for a recording billing itself as progressive rock, it might have served Main well to stray out of 4/4, although that might have required learning how to program more complicated drum parts. As it is this is just a collection of songs, sometimes OK, sometimes lame. I don't want to be any meaner than necessary about this review, but somebody has to be truthful about the quality if this guy's friends won't. It's just part and parcel with the self-released CD era, typos in the booklet and all. Layers should have been subject to the scrutiny of a producer or independent outside voice who could have helped identify the good bits and send the rest back for rework.
Related artist(s): Bruce Main
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more