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Inner Ear Brigade: Rainbro

Inner Ear Brigade is an Oakland, CA band formed around 2005, which includes: Bill Wolter, on guitar; Chris Lauf, on drums; Stevo Wright, on bass; Andrew Vernon, on keyboards; Ivor Holloway, on saxophone; Melody Ferris, on vocals; and David Shaff, on trumpet.

"Inner Ear Brigade's music stretches boundaries and sweeps genres. Their music fits somewhere between jazz, experimental new music, art-rock, funk, and progressive rock. Utilizing the vintage sounds of a Hammond B3 organ, Fender Rhodes, and Moog synthesizer, vocals, vibes, and viola, you may notice sounds that are all at once sweet and silly, riff-crazed, but deceptively free and simple. We are inspired by the sounds of Sunra, Japanese prog duet 'Ruins', French epic proggers 'Magma' as well as a host of other denizens of boundary pushing music" (, 2012).

"Knee" opens the album full of energy and cool synthesized sounds. Ferris' interesting and high pitched voice adds a nice ambience to the comical opening of this piece. The instrumental section of this over five minute track is full of interesting bass, and keyboard work with Ferris adding her high pitched vocal exercises. Definitely jazzy prog which will add variety to both genres. "Oom Pah", almost has an early Chicago horns section feel to it. Ferris singing helps pin IEB's signature to the sound.

"Missing the Train" is full of more great instrumental excursions which really help identify the band and help it stand out against the crowd of jazz musicians trying to make more popular music.

"Rainbro", the title track is by far the most experimental and best track. The cutting guitar work interspersed with the cool keyboard work, horns and Ferris high pitched vocals makes this a definite album highlight.

Cool and unique guitar riffs fuel and fill "Too Good to be True", making it another album standout. The Chris Squire inspired bass work is also another nice touch. The heavier guitar work on "Nut Job" is amazingly well done.

Much of this album took me back to some interesting highlights of some of the 70s best music. I heard Zappa, Yes bass, mixed with Chicago horn sections which were a unique but completely fun pairing.

Track Listing:

1. Knee
2. Oom Pah
3. Missing the Train
4. Rainbro
5. Too Good to be True
6. Somnambulist Subversion
7. Nut Job
8. Forgotten Planet
9. Dirty Spoons
10. 25 Miles to Freedom

Added: July 7th 2012
Reviewer: Mark Johnson
Related Link:
Hits: 1857
Language: english

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