Tone Bearer — Millennium
(Fookstick no#, 1999, CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2000-05-01Tone 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.
Related artist(s): Tone Bearer
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more