TriPod - 2003

Rating: **1/2
Best songs: Dance of the Kabuki, Trip the Light, Jerome's Spotlight
Worst songs: Smoke & Mirrors, Fuzz

 

TriPod is a prog trio from New York, consisting of singer/12-string bassist Clint Bahr, sax player Keith Gurland, and drummer Steve Romano. Yeah, that's right, no guitarist or keyboard player. For the most part that particular limitation isn't really much of a problem: the only thing I can find wrong with it is it gets a bit old hearing saxophones for 55 minutes. 'Course, that's just me. I like woodwinds, but I like guitars and keyboards more. Anyway, the band may be prog, but it's not really bad prog: their influences are more on the Frank Zappa/King Crimson side of things.

Anyway, this album sure knows how to start: the opener "Jerome's Spotlight" is a crazy Primus-esque freakout that segues into a more conventional song a third of the way through. Then there's "Trip the Light", which could have hit potential if it didn't include a Zappa-ey sped-up instrumental section in the middle. Not that that's a bad thing... Then we hit the most traditionally-proggy song on the album, "Dance of the Kabuki", which would easily fit in on an early King Crimson record, and is my choice for best track on here.

After that impressive three-song suite, things kind of cool off. "No Diamond Cries" grooves along nicely, and "Buzz" is an interestingly frenetic tune, but the second half of the album is... kind of nondescript. Thankfully there aren't any ear-shattering excursions into atonal noisemaking (though there are a couple improv pieces, "Fuzz" and "Smoke & Mirrors", which don't really accomplish much), but none of the tracks really stand out. Which is a shame, because they obviously have some talent, as displayed on, well, the first few tracks. So, if I may conclude (and by conclude, I mean, "summarize this review in one sentence so you can just skip the rest"): the more you like prog, the more you're likely to enjoy this album.

To order this album, visit Moonjune Records at www.moonjune.com. And hey! I avoided bad jokes about my web host.


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