Herd of Instinct – same

Herd of Instinct – Mark Cook (Warr guitar), Mike Davison (guitar) and Jason Spradlin (drums/percussion)

Following the breakup of 99 Names of God, Mark Cook joined up with Hands for their 2008 album Strangelet. Then he rejoined with 99NoG drummer Jason Spradlin and guitarist Mike Davison (Nervewerks) to create a new band, Herd of Instinct. They’ve been playing in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex for a while, and have slowly been amassing a sufficient quantity of recorded material for their first album. It’s finally happened, and their first self-titled album was just released on Djam Karet‘s Firepool Records label.

Playing live, they’re a three-piece, but for the album, they invited many friends to “run with The Herd” as it were. These guest artists include Pat Mastelotto (King Crimson, XTC), Jerry Marotta (Peter Gabriel, Tony Levin), Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree), Gayle Ellett (Djam Karet, Ukab Maerd), Kris Swenson (99 Names of God) and others. The result is a highly varied sound that still features a core that can be carried off in live performances.

Musically, the best point of reference is probably ’90’s Crimson, but there are also influences from the more modern, agressive prog-metal sound like Dream Theater and the “indie” sounds like the alt-metal of Tool, the post-rock of Tortoise and even some brief flirtations with ambient music. But all these comparisons only get you into the ballpark. Herd of Instinct is all instrumental (with the exception of one song, vocalized by former 99 Names of God vocalist Kris Swenson, which may even be a “leftover” from 99NoG recording sessions with some reworking), and has its own unique sound. The album slows down a bit towards the end, but even so the last songs are better than most modern bands best efforts. This album is a gem, and it’s a small wonder that Gayle Ellett chose it to be the first non-Djam Karet-related album on the Firepool label. Seek it out, a definite keeper! — Fred Trafton


Click here for Herd of Instinct‘s web site
Click here for Herd of Instinct‘s MySpace page

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