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Dave Willey and Friends: Immeasurable Currents

You may be familiar with Dave Willey as the bass player of the avant progressive rock band Thinking Plague and as leader of the slightly more accessible Hamster Theatre. On his debut release Immeasurable Currents Willey is joined by Thinking Plague members Deborah Perry (vocals) and Mike Johnson (guitar, keyboards). The 5UU's Dave Kerman plays drums on one track and the late Hugh Hopper adds some excellent bass work. Other guests include Elaine di Falco (vocals, piano), Wally Scharold (vocals) and Farrell Love (guitar).

Not surprisingly, the music Willey presents us comes from the avant-garde school of progressive rock but Immeasurable Currents has a softer approach taking the acoustic route more often than not. Elements of pop, art rock and a heavy helping of folk is what you will find here. Willey is a talented musician as he plays a variety of instruments including accordion, bass, guitar, drums, and organ just to name a few. The instrumentation is at times quite sparse making room for various percussion sounds and of course accordion which adds a rich layer of sound.

The album is based upon the poems of Willey's father Dale Willey taken from his book The Tin Box Papers and Other Poems. The lyrics are quite abstract and nowhere more so than in the quirky pop of "Too Much Light". Dale Willey's thought provoking words paint a vivid picture as Perry sings,

"Our lives are deep in rooms washed with mirrors,
A redundancy secured, while aspens tremble.
Our eyes have grown tired from so much light."

In "The Old Woods" the theme of nature continues but man's influence is paramount and as the melody swirls amidst accordion and Perry's serene vocals Willey asks the question "How can we tell what's human when these woods are gone?" It is an important question and the music reflects its poignancy.

The album can be quite minimalistic as in the sparsely arranged "Autumn" and the gentle "A Garland of Miniatures" but does occasionally show some faster tempos and electric playing. In "The Conservatives" Willey's angular lead guitar has some real bite and in the fast paced "I Could Eat You Up" the unusual vocal melody and Dave Kerman's drums are a treat for the senses.

The album's last song "Nightfall" returns to more dreamy atmospheres and pastoral elements. It's a fitting end to what is an immensely satisfying listen.

Immeasurable Currents bridges avant-garde music with some truly beautiful melodies. Yes, this music can be a little sad but that doesn't make it any less thought provoking and rewarding.

Track Listing:
1. Too Much Light (Ionesco's Theme) (3:47)
2. The Old Woods (5:46)
3. If Two See a Unicorn (1:57)
4. What a Night (4:02)
5. The Conservatives (1:50)
6. Winter (3:22)
7. I Could eat You Up (3:36)
8. Wordswords (5:40)
9. Autumn (3:18)
10. Mitch (2:57)
11. A Garland of Miniatures (2:40)
12. Nightfall (4:31)

Added: January 8th 2012
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Label's Official Site
Hits: 1886
Language: english

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