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

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
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


Previously in Exposé...

XII Alfonso - Claude Monet, Vol. 2 - 1889-1904 – Got a friend who only likes jazz or movie soundtrack music or both? Here's a disc to slip into their hands with a wink. It just might turn them into prog-heads. XII Alfonso have fashioned here a...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues