Exposé Online banner

Inner Ear Bridage — Dromology
(Bandcamp no#, 2017, DL)

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

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
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

2017-09-26
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


Previously in Exposé...

Pink Floyd - The Division Bell – Eight years since their last studio release, Floyd have come forward with another fine collection of songs, with no real surprises — their timeless style intact — this could just as easily...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues