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

2020-10-14
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

2020-10-06
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

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

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


Previously in Exposé...

Ziff - Stories – This is the first release I've heard on Musea's new side-label Angular Records, so it's too soon to predict what the 'sound' of the label will be, but for this release at least,...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues