Exposé Online banner

The Mercury Tree — Freeze in Phantom Form
(Bandcamp no#, 2012, CD / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2013-07-08

Freeze in Phantom Form Cover art

The Mercury Tree is a young band from Portland, Oregon forging a style that mixes elements of modern progressive rock (along the lines of Porcupine Tree) with post-rock (a little like Explosions in the Sky). Maybe the Porcupine Tree comparison comes mainly from vocal style. All three band members — Ben Spees (guitars, keys), Connor Reilly (drums), and Aaron Clark (bass) — sing, and I'm not sure who handles the lead, but the soft, melodic quality resembles Steven Wilson. While they do get fairly heavy at times, they don't have the aggressive metal edge of PTree. The mix of sounds, especially in the keyboards, harks to classic progressive rock, with electric piano, monosynth, and washes of strings, though for the most part they don't strike me as sounding like the neo-prog generation of bands. Several times I was reminded of some of the recent heavy prog out of Sweden, like Book of Hours. I'm not sure how they manage this music live, as both guitars and keys are integral to the sound. There are some really inventive moments, like the crazy effects added to instruments in the climax of "Zeta," which toss us into outer space. The guest spoken vocals on "Sepulchre" are a bit on the silly side, though the instrumental backing for them is excellent. Aside from that minor quibble, Freeze in Phantom Form is a solid album, well worth checking out.


Filed under: New releases, 2012 releases

Related artist(s): The Mercury Tree

More info
http://themercurytree.bandcamp.com/album/freeze-in-phantom-form

Latest news

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Hans Reichel & Eroc - The Return of Onkel Boskopp – Careful. This is Hans Reichel; not to be confused with another German experimentalist - Achim Reichel. The Reichel featured here is known for constructing home made string instruments, and performing...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues