Smokin' Granny's third release is a euphoric collection of instrumental progressive rock, fusion, and live- in- the -studio improvisations that will leave the listener in awe of the sheer synergy that these players have together. Recalling the eclectic nature of vintage Frank Zappa, and the furious interplay of King Crimson, Smokin' Granny have conjured up a strong successor to their last project, Sirius Matter.
The CD consists of eighteen tracks, which alternate from long improvisations like the Crimson inspired "Tethered Sky..Skewed Wisdom", to atmospheric jazz rockers like "Tunnels", to short quirky segues like "Whisper" or "Spacevox." Sax player Todd Barbee is once again the main musician, as his melodic bursts highten songs like the acoustic "Fuma Sin Fuego" and the rampaging fusion of "Virgin Flight of the Mumbliepies", which at nine-minutes is the CD's longest track and features the fiercest interplay. Bassist Brian Preston and drummer Jef Lindsey are constantly locked into a serious groove, which allows Barbee and guitarists David Oskardmay and Steve Hatch plenty of room to solo over, although there is never a sense of needless wanking here. A nice touch also is Barbee's use of the WX7 wind controller, which gives an extra layer to the bands sounds and fills in where a keyboard player might have fit.
Tarth Shooke is another fine instrumental release from Smokin' Granny. Fans of spacey fusion or King Crimson inspired improvisational prog will find much to like here.