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

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

David Torn - Presenz – Guitarist David Torn's return to the ECM label is surely a testament to the man’s desire to push forward. His long time collaborators (Tim Berne and his Science Friction band of improvisers) provide...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues