Two words-simply amazing! This new recording from classic progressive rock and fusion masters The Muffins after a twenty year hiatus is a breathtaking example of just how much fire is left in the genre. Bandwidth combines melodic jazz sensibilities with complex prog song structures and the searing nature of classic fusion, for a ride that was well worth the wait.
On many tracks here I am reminded of some of the classic bands of the late 70's who also made an impact with this same style, such as Henry Cow, Magma, National Health, Frank Zappa, Gilgamesh, and Hatfield and the North. Listening to Billy Swann's thunderous bass grooves on "World Maps" just sent shivers up my spine, much like Jannick Top's playing from the early Magma days, while the laid back melodicism of "Dear Mona", with its lovely sax lines courtesy of Thomas Frasier Scott, is simply marvelous. There are grooves aplenty throughout this amazingly complex CD, and every song, whether it be a six minute romp or a quick minute teaser, is extremely memorable. "Essay R" has some neat dueling sax work, while Swann's gymnastic bass lines supply the glue that holds the funky rhythm together. Drummer Paul Sears throws in some distorted noise guitar on this track as well. He even adds some ominous power chords to the rampaging epic "Out of the Boot", one of the darker pieces on the CD that flirts with almost King Crimson territory circa "In the Wake of Poseidon."
As with many Cuneiform releases, there is plenty of varied instrumentation here that adds a unique touch. You will find sax, trombone, guitars, organ, piano, flute, violin, cello, bass, and drums interspersed throughout the CD's twelve great tracks. The Muffins have returned with a vengeance-look out world!