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Spandrel: Spandrel

Spandrel is a duo consisting of Phil Hirschi (Cello) who played with the Mahavishnu Orchestra from 74-75, and Spencer Smith (guitar) based out of Seattle Washington. Once drummer Gary Husband (Allan Holdsworth, Chick Corea, John McLaughlin) was brought into the fold, the music came to fruition. It may sound like an unusual combination, but the music is incredible powerful. The opening track “Habituation” features a haunting intro, and might have you thinking King Crimson as it kicks into high gear. Heavy distorted guitar, and Husband’s forceful drums explode, and the amazing richness of the Cello instantly draws me in. The ending is trance like and gives off a Mahavishnu Orchestra vibe. “Dark Energy” continues the surprising heaviness with unison guitar and cello riffing that carries this track. “A Day in Rabat” gives you a chance to sit back and enjoy a quieter contemplative piece of music, and if you haven’t fallen in love with the Cello after this track, maybe it’s not your thing.

Although labeled as Jazz, I think fans of progressive rock could dig into this one. “Hero’s Journey” has soft and subtle moments led by the Cello are nothing short of moving here. The ending gets things rocking, and leads into the fingerpicked intro for “SixFour”. Accompanied by the Cello and some light percussion, the band shows a varied dynamic range throughout the disc.

At times I’ll admit to things sounding a bit samey, and they do mellow out during the second half of the disc to a certain degree. That being said, there’s usually some interesting guitar or cello patterns to latch onto. “Twisted Sister” is a grower and the last minute and a half make for a great closer, I just wish they kicked in the door a bit sooner.

I was completely absorbed in the guitar cello sound, they work very well together. I do get a Crimson vibe when the band is at their heaviest, and it is one of the more unique sounding releases I have heard this year.

Track List:
1) Habituation
2) Dark Energy
3) A Day in Rabat
4) Hero’s Journey
5) SixFour
6) Words Travel Fast and So Does Fire
7) Twisted Sister

Added: November 23rd 2022
Reviewer: Eric Porter
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 400
Language: english

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