King Crimson — The Power to Believe
(Sanctuary Records 06076-84585-2, 2003, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2004-04-01The majority of King Crimson tunes since Vrooom consist of the following sections: interlocking guitar parts reminiscent of the Discipline era, done in varying speeds; chunky, stuttery chords offsetting the two guitars; dramatic power chords in unusual intervals topped by single notes, usually in a high range, but sometimes low; drifting soundscapes of guitar or guitar synthesizer (usually on a Mellotron-like string sound). Throw in an occasional Belew ballad, and you can cover virtually everything they’ve recorded on three studio albums and innumerable EP’s and live releases. All you need to do is mix up the parts. As far as I can tell, The Power to Believe throws two new tricks into the bag. One is the warped heavy metal riffing of “Happy with What You Have to Be Happy With” and “Facts of Life,” the other is the slow buildup of “Dangerous Curves,” which is a bit like “Talking Drum.” My guess is that most people who have liked recent Crimson releases will also like this one, but it’s not likely to win many new converts among those who haven’t, or prefer other eras of the band’s work. That being said, I have to admit I find this CD eminently enjoyable, sort of a distillation of the essence of current Crimson art. I don’t know if I’ll be willing to accept another CD of variations on these same themes, however, so I hope a change is coming.
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more
The Flower Kings - Back in the World of Adventures – Don't let the name fool you. The Flower Kings can jam! Take some soulful groove drumming, occasional Frippertronic style guitar, medieval flute-led romps in 7, and a plethora of keyboard and... (1996) » Read more