nasal and poorly produced. These guys sound like a jam bar-band in a college
town, mixing (inappropriately) Sabbath-inspired metal riffs with
Dave Matthews Band acoustic and/or undistorted instrumentals and
vocals. If they were a bit more inspired, I suppose it might've worked,
but the music as it stands is banal and as tasteless as milquetoast, and
the distorted guitar refrains really do not fit in with the subdued-bluesy-mellow
foundation of most of this record. Perhaps much of my unaffectedness is
due to the album sounding like it was recorded from the bathroom of the
dive bar that it was produced in. If you pinch your nose shut and sing
along to the record, I guarantee you'll sound exactly like the lead singer
("concrete"). Deadheads make better bootlegs than this. Etherglow
could easily be a competent jam band, or lead a post-modern resurrection
of the Sabbath sound (particularly in "bliss"), but not both
at the same time, and not with their current vocalist. It just isn't working.
There is some intricate and somewhat understated guitar work in here that
remains muted by the weighty dullness of the encompassing musical framework,
and poisoned by the painfully awful vocals.
The weakness of jam gives rise to its strengths. The weakness is that
it is not composed as a singular entity, with overtures, climaxes or codas,
and so does not have the comfort of structure to serve as a guide for
construction. They are long, free-form sessions of extemporaneous explorations
of musical boundaries. Etherglow's jamming sounds like pieces lifted from
other artist's songs, serviceably hashed together. The result sounds contrived.
Jamming is not mere synthesis via analysis, it is supposed to be an act
of pure creation; it should amble, but never ramble, and is the domain
(exclusively) of artists who have already mastered the art of structured
music, and who are looking to discover (via a stream-of-consciousness
wander through the musical landscape) the next great riff, melody, beat,
or whatever. There are no preconceived notions about what they will find;
it is an act of discovery. And therein lays the critical flaw here: another
band with competent musicians who've learned how to digest what they've
heard, and recombine it, but the lack of any unifying artistic vision
leaves them sounding dull and flat. Nothing is really ventured here, and
the diminished return is hardly surprising.
Etherglow has a great website
(http://www.etherglow.com/ ) whose only real weakness is a bad font
choice for the body text, but this is cause for wonder: how can
you have a slick, professional website with very professional logo
and mascot art, but produce a record that sounds like somebody forgot
to take the microphone out of the coffee can? A shift of priorities
is in order...
1. turn cheek
6. matches, nails, knife
8. car crash
9. march on
10. ebb & flow
in the webboard
e-mail the chief
Like this article?
it to a friend!