Here Are the Facts You Requested — Felt
(Elevator Pop HAT2-007, 2003, CD)
Here Are the Facts You Requested — Testing Ground – Live in Spain 2004
((Not on label) no#, 2005, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2008-01-01
Somewhere back in the late 90s, after seeing them open for the Mike Keneally Band, we reviewed this San Jose band’s earlier release, Shocks and Struts, which proved them to be a talented and original “indie” oriented outfit with a fresh outlook and interesting sound. Six years and a couple studio releases later, Felt is a confident step forward, finding the band forging their own individual style, now more idiosyncratic than ever. The basic instrumentation features guitars, drums, electronics, bass, cello, and keyboards, with guests providing turntables, banjo, pedal steel, theremin, and trumpet. Vocals (both male and female) are sung by all band members and guests too, with different singers alternating the lead and harmony parts, track depending, in sort of a loosely synced Grateful Dead-ish sort of style. The varied voices end up giving the material added variety, as the quartet plies their quirky melodic and lyrical vision and eclectic stylistic tendencies, which seemingly draw influence from just about anything and everything within reach. There are no spotlight hogs in the band; everybody pretty much does their part to support the overall effort, giving the material a very even-handed approach.
While this writer can recommend Felt without reservation, the same cannot be said for the bootleggy Testing Ground; the band plays a respectable set, drawing from Shocks and Struts, Felt, and perhaps some newer songs as well, though the shabby sound quality makes the disc nearly intolerable. Stick with Felt and you can’t go wrong.
Related artist(s): Here Are the Facts You Requested
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more