Exposé Online banner

Tone Bearer — Millennium
(Fookstick no#, 1999, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2000-05-01

Millennium Cover artTone Bearer is a San Jose six-piece cut squarely from the Marillion and Pendragon mold of neo-prog. The lineup is your standard 5-piece with an additional percussionist and the vocalist doubling on guitars. Bassist Mike Underwood's name is all over the packaging and his twangy bass is extremely high in the mix. So much so that I would guess that he's the driving force in the group. With that much instrumentation, you'd expect a lot more than what the songs here actually deliver. Part of the problem may be an extremely thin and B-grade production job, but I have to suspect that it's mostly due to inexperience in the studio as well as with arranging. The eight tracks on Millennium cling to well-trodden musical pathways with little in the way of innovation or originality though an undeniable sheer determination manages to pound the material through somewhat. The group churns along throughout the disc, only coming into focus on the track "The Rite," which displays a toughness and spit that suits this ensemble best. Overall, Millennium is not a bad first effort though there's little here to distinguish this group from many before them. A little maturity and experience should help them to rise above the mediocre.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 19, 1999 releases

Related artist(s): Tone Bearer

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Atomic Bomb Audition - Eleven Theatres – Hailing from Oakland (always a good thing!), ABA is essentially an instrumental g/b/d trio with each member playing various additional instruments (electric sitar, Theremin, samplers, organ, synth,...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues