Archive for June, 2015

Consider the Source – World War Trio (Parts I, II & III)

June 21, 2015

Yeah, it’s been a long time since I posted here. But I just heard a new band that I really want to talk about. Well, they’re not that new, just new to me. They are Consider the Source, and they describe themselves as “sci-fi middle eastern music.” I’ll buy that, but I’d say “sizzling world fusion” would speak to prog fans more. More western than middle eastern, but with a nice flavoring of that and other world sonorities. Guitars, bass and drums. No keyboards, no vocals. But you won’t miss the keyboards … lots of interesting electronic sonorities, I suspect being driven mostly by the guitar, but also sometimes from the drums. Beautifully strange polyrythms and microtonal pitch bending you usually never hear from a guitar interlock with conventional and slap-bass counterpoints and math-rock polyrhythms from the drums. This music’s got everything, unless you want deep philosophical vocals, in which case look elsewhere.

Consider the Source is an American band formed in 2004, and features Gabriel Marin on fretless double-neck guitar, John Ferrara on bass guitar, and Jeff Mann on kit and other percussion. The fretless allows Marin to play otherwise-impossible note flurries which move from western folksy to Indian ragas to middle-eastern to Discipline-era Crimson to prog-metal in an instant. This is virtuosity, from all band members.

I picked up the World War Trio Part I EP and the double-CD World War Trio Parts II & III on the strength of a review and auditioning some cuts on Bandcamp (see link below). I’m very glad I did. It’s not often these days that something new really grabs me and turns me on, and when it does, it’s usually something that harks back to ’70’s prog (i.e. Steve Hackett‘s Genesis Revisited), but this is totally new and totally awesome. It’s hard to say it reminds me of anyone else. And that’s hard to do. You go, guys!

And, as an aside, let me give them kudos for not being afraid to play middle eastern sounding music in our current atmosphere of hostility towards anything that seems even vaguely middle-eastern. As if the music has anything to do with the politics or religion of the region. If CtS has any political or religious agendas, it’s completely non-obvious from their albums, so don’t be concerned about that. Just enjoy some of the hottest music you’re likely to hear for a long time to come. — Fred Trafton

Esperanto (2008)
Are You Watching Closely? (2009)
That’s What’s Up (2010)
F**k It! We’ll Do It Live – Volume 1 (2012, Rec. 12/2011)
F**k It! We’ll Do It Live – Volume 2 (2013, Rec. 5 & 8/2013)
World War Trio (Part I) (2014)
World War Trio (Parts II and III) (2015)

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