Exposé Online banner

Moraine — Groundswell
(Moonjune MJR066, 2014, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-10-01

Groundswell Cover art

Far from just another Moraine album, this Seattle based five-piece is evolving by leaps and bounds with each new release, and Groundswell offers ample evidence of this growth. The band today includes founder and guitarist Dennis Rea (also covering electronics and Mellotron), James DeJoie on baritone sax and flute, electric violinist Alicia DeJoie, eight-string Stick bassist Kevin Millard, and new since the band’s last release – drummer Tom Zgonc. The compositions, with the exception of two pieces by persons outside the band, are written individually by Rea and James and Alicia DeJoie, excellent composers all three. The material covers a lot of ground, from the thrashy and bluesy rocker “Gnashville,” to the impressive chamber-like mood piece “Spiritual Gatecrasher” that slowly evolves into some inspired but measured improvisation over its seven minute duration. Most of what’s here tends to exist somewhere between the worlds of jazz-rock fusion (with some strong hints of early Mahavishnu, probably more because of the powerful use of electric violin leads than anything else) and a complex crimsoid geometric rock approach, though the unusual instrumentation used to reach these ends offers a textural originality rarely heard, exemplified on the Rea-penned second track “Skein,” and the busy and brilliantly complex “Synecdoche.” Throughout one can hear eastern Asian threads blended within the melodic fabric, more on tracks like “Fountain of Euthanasia” and “In That Distant Place” but to a lesser extent on several other numbers. Opener “Mustardseed” starts off slow paced but quickly moves into a world of noisy free rock improv while maintaining its melodic drive. Measure by measure, this is an outstanding group of players and composers that impress at every level.


Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): James DeJoie, Moraine, Dennis Rea

More info
http://dennisrea-moonjune.bandcamp.com/album/groundswell

Latest news

2019-12-11
There's No Time Like the Present – The Belgian band Present has been one of the best avant-rock bands in the world since its formation in 1979. Over the years since then, Present has released nine amazing albums, and now they're ready to start work on number ten. They're looking for some financial help from their fans around the world. » Read more

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

MK II - Burning Daylight – Remember the long protracted intro to "Shine on You Crazy Diamond"? That's a fair enough reference point for the first track on this British trio's debut. Other reference points for this album might...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues