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

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

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


Previously in Exposé...

Make a Rising - Rip through the Hawk Black Night – Make a Rising is an adventurous Philadelphia quintet cut from the mode of modern alternative experimental bands such as Tortoise and Olivia Trevor Control. Blending jazz and alternative rock elements...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues