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Bolt: Movement and Detail

10T Records, a new progressive-music label out of Georgia that has already scooped up such American prog acts as Frogg Café, Little Atlas and Man On Fire from ProgRock Records, launches its first official release with the second album from the South Carolina all-instrumental trio Bolt. Movement and Detail is an aptly titled, sonically precise record made by multi-instrumentalists W. Heyward Sims, Bill Elliott and Geoff Maxey. Alternately dark and light, and technical as hell, it's a blur of genres that can't easily be labeled. Prog rock? Math rock? Post rock? Not really.

Band members can't seem to settle on a style, either, moving swiftly from extreme-metal 'tude ("Invasion") to abrasive funk ("Skydiving With A Life Preserver") to atonal feedback ("Vendetta") to timeless fusion ("Knocking on 9") to epic soundscapes ("Solar"). Nevertheless, Bolt makes a strong musical statement by unifying such disparate styles into a signature sound characterized by liberal use of loops, disjointed rhythms and colorful synths. Melodies rise to the surface and bubble over much more than expected on a release of this nature, and despite nods to King Crimson and Les Claypool's Frog Brigade, Bolt sounds distinctly original.

The liner notes, amusingly enough, attribute "vox" to all three band members, and Bolt includes voice-mail snippets on the disc from listeners who claim (incorrectly, I might add) that the band sucks — proving that the trio's witty musical interplay carries over into its off-record character.


Track Listing:
1) The Devil's Paintbrush
2) Stryker
3) Anaphase
4) Variables
5) Invasion
6) Skydiving With A Life Preserver
7) Vendetta
8) Knocking on 9
9) Vanilla
10) Solar
11) Kick

Added: February 3rd 2007
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Score:
Related Link: 10T Records
Hits: 4531
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Bolt: Movement and Detail
Posted by Steve Pettengill, SoT Staff Writer on 2007-02-03 10:21:53
My Score:

The debut album from South Carolina trio Bolt may not leap out at you the first time you push play, but give this one a few spins and the songs really begin to take shape. Album opener "The Devil's Paintbrush" takes a page or two from the 80s model King Crimson songbook while tracks such as "Stryker" and "Variables" bears certain similarities to Rush and The Police. Kinetic energy is the order of the day here and if intricacy is key to one's enjoyment of modern instrumental progressive rock, then Movement and Detail is just what the doctor ordered. But it's not all hyper serious stuff. The answering machine messages at the conclusion of "Vendetta" is hilarious fun for the listener, but probably extremely hurtful to the band if they are at all authentic. Ouch! Overall, Movement and Detail is best enjoyed cruising down the highway. While it's suitably complex, it also happens to rock pretty hard as well. Check these guys out.

Bolt: Movement and Detail
Posted by Butch Jones, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-07-31 12:36:35
My Score:

If I throw out the terms Prog Rock or Math Rock or even Riff Rock, what type of band comes to mind? Meshuggah, Yes, Opeth, King Crimson, Porcupine Tree? Yeah, me too. But out of Columbia, South Carolina comes the 3 piece outfit, Bolt. Their new CD is called Movement and Detail (10T Records) and while they are a progressive outfit for sure, they are VERY different than the afore mentioned heavyweights.

Movement and Detail is one of the funniest records that I have heard in a very long time. It is an 11 track CD full of riffy fun and technical artistry. Avant-garde if you will. All 11 tracks are instrumental compositions and even if you don't like instrumentals, these are NOT boring songs, at all! Imagine being inside a video game. The chaotic thrill ride that you go through. The ups and the downs, that is what Bolt throws at you from song to song. Their technical precision, whether it be metallic themed or an almost dance-able beat to their jazzy fusion styled beats, Bolt does not disappoint. Brilliant, interesting and just a pleasure to listen to over and over again.

Texture is a word that I find myself using over and over in my head. Bolt's musical shift from genre to genre and never staying too long in any category makes them something of an enigma. "The Devil's Paintbrush" kicks off this CD and from the beginning you see what is in store. Members W.Heyward Sims, Bill Elliott and Geoff Maxey combine guitars, drums, bass, loops and synths all over this great record. Captivating, unique and unclassifiable is what Bolt is all about. "Movement and Detail" is Bolt's sophomore release and while darker than the previous release continued growth is apparent. Stand out tracks on this CD are "Invasion" and "Stryker" (which would easily be heard on Alternative Rock radio if there were lyrics.). Also check out the riffing on "Knocking On 9". These guys throw in everything including Ska and the kitchen sink.

Bolt is one of those bands that you just can't put a label on. From eerie atmospherics to jazzy overtones to ska beats to metal riffs and back again, Bolt are one of a kind!! There is nothing bad about this CD. It is so much fun and flat out interesting that as soon as you get into it, it's over. Bolt serves up a masterpiece with Movement and Detail. Personality, eclectically, a high "cool" factor and great musical ability make this a pure pleasure to listen to.

Can't wait to hear what these guys can come up with next!!


Bolt: Movement and Detail
Posted by Duncan Glenday, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-07-27 01:10:34
My Score:

Knock knock
Who's there
Bolt
...
Knock knock
Who's not there
A singer
Yeah - that's right!
 

A friend of mine said I should check a band out - Bolt is the name...
Y'know - you guys are musicians, man, but what the f(beep)
You have no songwriting ability, no singing ability-
You guys should give up and - I'm sorry - you need to give up and get real jobs...
 

This is paraphrased from the end of "Vendetta" on Movement And Detail, where there's this humorous, self-effacing minute and a half section of (presumably) fake messages left on an answering machine.

Which tells you nothing about the music. In a communiqué from the president of 10T Records, we were told that we could choose to label it "progressive rock, math rock, post rock, or riff rock..". Riff-rock is probably the most apt description, because in many tracks a basic riff takes the lead role and is repeated - and sometimes developed - over the length of the whole song. As Bolt's knock-knock parody indicates, there's no singer - this is all-instrumental riff-driven math-rock-like high-energy stuff. Don't look for much legato - it's a high-speed staccato that brings to mind the breathless pace of French contemporaries Nil. Its very original and somewhat unconventional nature will take a bit of getting used to for most people.

The guitar work features those very intricate riffs mostly in the instrument's mid ranges. The drums are well played and the rhythm is maintained with stringent consistency - although there's one jarring drum note that seems to 'pop' constantly. Listen to the very similar introductions to "Variables", "Skydiving With A Life Preserver", "Knocking on 9" and "Vanilla" - and you might also find that beat monopolizes your attention.

Rounding out the trio is the bass work - and when focusing on that instrument Bolt's very tight compositions become apparent. On the surface this may sound like a repetitive jam session, and in parts it may be, but there are sections when the tight bonding of the three main instruments clearly illustrate Bolt's technical artistry.


Bolt: Movement and Detail
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-07-02 11:36:43
My Score:

The first release on the brand new label 10T Records is by the South Carolina trio Bolt, titled Movement and Detail. This quirky little nugget contains plenty of varied and adventurous material, as Bolt proves to be a band that is hard to categorize yet impossible to ignore. Hints of prog-rock, avant-garde, math rock, and even some touches of metal float around the grooves of the eleven songs on this CD. Songs like "Stryker" and "Anaphase" contain plenty of muscle, and are just complex enough to call to mind King Crimson as well as The Dillinger Escape Plan with the intricate guitar and bass grooves from W. Heyward Sims and Geoff Maxey, not to mention the busy fills from drummer Bill Elliott. In fact, Elliott really shows his talents on the Rush-meets-Eric Johnson romp of "Variables", a proggy/rootsy gem that sees the drummer laying down plenty of tasty grooves and flashy fills. The metallic crunch of "Invasion" is offset by the bombastic bass and synth-pop of "Skydiving With a Life Preserver", while "Knocking on 9" and "Solar" recall modern day King Crimson as well as Mike Keneally's solo works.

All in all it's a rocking and rollicking good time throughout , as Bolt provides plenty of twists and turns that help keep the listener constantly guessing and looking for more.


» Reader Comments:

Bolt: Movement and Detail
Posted by Mark Melch on 2006-08-22 15:50:12
My Score:

I picked up this CD on a lark after reading a few reviews and being excited at the prospect of supporting a brand new progressive label on the scene (10T Records). I expected good things, but I was unprepared for the whirlwind sonic experience that this disc offers. The combination of technical virtuosity and complex interweaving of instruments is definitely within the King Crimson style the aforementioned reviews had me anticipating, but I was totally unprepared for the upbeat (dare I say manic) energy that permeates this entire CD! It's almost as if The Police reformed as an instrumental prog/math rock hybrid and incorporated a groove factor that wouldn't be out fo place at an all night rave. But don't get me wrong - this is not dance music per se, even though you might find yourself dancing to it anyway!
The music at first lulls you into a false sense of complacency as it slowly builds on its poly-rhythms of interlocking guitar, bass and drums, taking its time in an almost Godspeed You Black Emperor kind of way. Then, when you think you've got the formula pegged, the band starts whipping breakneck changes on you, shifting and morphing with such single-minded drive that you're left drained and exhausted, yet energized as well. I had never heard of Bolt prior to this CD, but count me as one of the converted!




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