The Red Masque — Death of the Red Masque
((Not on label) no#, 2001, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2001-12-01
The Red Masque is a five-piece of guitars, bass, drums/percussion, keyboard+harp, and lead voice. Their promo package proclaims “...An intense and angular blend of avant rock...” and “..One of [Philadelphia’s] most experimental and forward thinking bands.” While echoes of Starless era Crimson occasionally haunt the instrumental attack on the first two tracks (each 10+ minutes in length), there is a strong jazz meets free metal improv undercurrent that creeps to the surface with regularity, mingling with the jagged rhythms and noisy industrial textures. Vocalist Lynnette Shelley adds to the din, sometimes with ethereal vocalizations and other times with a more aggressive attack with lyrics. A third track that clocks in at 13+ minutes brings their sound a couple steps closer to prog-rock territory, with a more structured, composed sound with a greater role for keyboards and guitar, vaguely reminiscent of early Van der Graaf Generator. Indeed, the band gets an A for effort, but there are some problems: while the singer has a powerful voice, she more than occasionally has trouble staying in key, and at times the band gets a little sloppy with their execution and timing. Neither problem is insurmountable, and with a little more time the band should tighten up their sound; in all a fairly promising debut.
Related artist(s): The Red Masque
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
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
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