Exposé Online banner

Inner Ear Bridage — Dromology
(AltrOck Productions 057, 2017, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2017-10-11

Dromology Cover art

You know how some albums take time to grow on you before you appreciate them? This is not one of those albums. I loved it from the first notes that hit my ears. “Dark Sleep Fortress” jumps out with a driving beat, multiple saxophones, and an unpredictable melody sung by Melody Ferris. The music occupies an interesting space somewhere in between modern progressive rock of the post-Porcupine Tree variety or Italian revival and more overtly avant-prog like Thinking Plague. This puts them in a similar territory to Cheer-Accident. Touches of jazz often lead to a Canterbury flavor, with Ferris playing the part of Barbara Gaskin to the band’s National Health. The vocal lines are often acrobatic, and she handles the parts well, barring a few places where she has to jump to an exceptionally high note out of the blue, and it just sounds awkward. Ivor Holloway’s saxes are a big part of the arrangements, and one of the band’s best features. They appear not just providing punchy chords and the occasional solo, but playing countermelodies that weave around the vocal lines to beautiful effect. Trumpet (played by either Theo Padouvas or David Shaff) also features in these arrangements, but the saxes stand out more, as well as getting more solo spots. Bill Wolter’s guitar often takes part in these polyphonic lines, though he does also play chords and riffs at other times. Two keyboard players contribute — Eli Wallace or Andrew Vernon, track depending — with lots of good electric piano parts in evidence. Chris Lauf (drums) and Stephen Wright (bass) provide a supple rhythmic backing, with unobtrusive flourishes that fill in just the right amount without overshadowing everything else. The balance between accessibility and complexity is quite appealing, and the quality of the writing and arrangements should find fans among those who recall Hatfield & the North with fondness but aren't looking for a slavish rehash.


Filed under: New releases, 2017 releases

Related artist(s): Inner Ear Bridage

More info
http://innerearbrigade.bandcamp.com/album/dromology

Latest news

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

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Il Berlione - Il Berlione – No, this is not another lost 70s Italian reissue, but instead a powerful new Japanese quintet featureing guitar, bass, saxes, keys, and drums. Their sound could best be described as a Canterbury / RIO...  (1993) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues