Exposé Online banner

Flyin' Ryan Brothers — Totality
((Not on label) no#, 2008, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2008-10-01

Totality Cover art

Here’s a tasty slice of instrumental progressive guitar rock, borne of the idea that lyrics and voices are unnecessary – and in fact only get in the way of the delivery of a strong enough instrumental message. There are some flashy pyrotechnics here and there, but there is so much more, as the chief component of this quartet’s output is rich and robust melodies delivered in a variety of styles and moods, with a twin guitar attack, supported by bass, drums, keyboards and several other instruments, making for an extremely satisfying whole. The brothers Johnny and Jimmy play all manner of guitars: acoustic, electric, lap steel, flutar, plus sitar, glockenspiel, accordion, and keyboards – even what sound like steel drums and theremin on the adventurous “Cosmic Calypso.” The rhythm section is drummer Johnny Mrozek and Exposé patron saint William Kopecky on four and six string and fretless basses; indeed the bass and drums are integral to the concept, with all four members having a hand in all the compositions and arrangements, which tend to tow the melodic line, steer clear of any overt metalisms, and never get too far beyond grasp. Some reference points might include Eric Johnson, Steve Morse or the Travis Larson Band, but their dual lead guitar approach reminds me most of the best instrumental work of Wishbone Ash. In all, an outstanding offering that satisfies on a number of levels.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 36, 2008 releases

Related artist(s): Flyin' Ryan Brothers

Latest news

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more

2018-05-14
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Hualun - Silver Daydream – Maybe it's actually easy to make post-rock music. After all, there seem to be bands springing up all around the world playing it. Hua Lun are part of the new generation of Chinese bands following in...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues