IZZ — My River Flows
(Doone DR5-669563, 2005, CD)
by Sean McFee, Published 2006-05-01
You have to hand it to IZZ, five years of hard work is increasingly paying off in terms of recognition. Their third proper studio release, My River Flows, continues their trend of melding progressive, pop, and alt-rock, not terribly far from Spock’s Beard terrain but with stronger hints of Yes. The opening title track is heavier than anything previously attempted, and threatens to break into total chaos by the end. This heaviness, perhaps a hat-tip to the direction taken by band such as Porcupine Tree, is something I sometimes hoped for more of in Sliver of a Sun and I Move, and yet IZZ never forgets the core melodic sensibility, replete with positive themes and consonant harmonies often belying the seriousness of the lyrics, that has fuelled their popularity to date. The most striking interlude is probably the female vocal passage in “Deception,” which sounds a lot like the theatrical Japanese symph of bands like Mr. Sirius. Closing the album with a six-part opus seems almost obligatory, but since it’s the first epic they have foisted on the listening public we can be forgiving. Now poised to perform at NEARfest after hitting pretty well every other progressive festival over the past few years, the group seems ready to reach the upper echelon of modern prog groups in terms of popularity, and it would be well deserved.
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more