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The Station: Speed of Sound

Here's the thing about jam bands: The ones that can really play their asses off usually have vocalists for whom singing isn't much of a priority. Enter The Station. This quartet not only boasts a dynamite singer, but the same guy also plays guitar and tenor sax. Dave Littrell by no means carries this band on Speed of Sound, a two-CD live set, but he ensures that The Station aren't just another progressive jam band that you'll soon forget.

When trying to conjure comparisons, Umphrey's McGee comes to mind first, but these guys don't noodle around nearly as much as their Illinois brethren. (That said, "Nothing to Hide" does sound more like UM than anything else here, thanks to delicate harmonizing and staccato improv.) Rather, The Station balances its jams on a metallic edge, adds a dash of funky machismo and even summons its Southern-rock roots to provide a fine introduction for new listeners.

Despite a running time of nearly two-and-a-half hours all but two of these 12 songs clock in at longer than 10 minutes Speed of Sound remains a far-from-laborious listen. The Station jams creatively while still focusing on the songs' melodies, structure and overall effect. Highlights include "Illuminator," which boasts jaw-dropping guitar and sax solos, and the heartland anthem "Midwest Moonshine." But, really, cue up just about any of these tunes, push "play" and let your opinion of jam bands likely be altered for the better.

Track Listing
Disc One:
1) Shoulders of Giants
2) Illuminator
3) The Other Side
4) Vagabond Slim
5) Another Dawn
6) Les the Gypsy

Disc Two:
1) Drop of a Hat
2) Midwest Moonshine
3) Something's Gotta Give
4) Nothing to Hide
5) Questions
6) Smile and Nod

Added: August 21st 2008
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: The Official Station Web Site
Hits: 3353
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

The Station: Speed of Sound
Posted by Blown Away! on 2009-02-28 13:08:22
My Score:

I saw them for the first time in Omaha a few weeks ago, jaw dropping. They're super tight, know how to work the crowd, and their light show was like an extension of their music. Great shit, bought Speed of Sound that night, haven't taken it out of my cd player since! if you don't own this album you should buy it right now... Good review, hits the nail on the head: check out this band!

The Station: Speed of Sound
Posted by Bradley "BManJamz&qu on 2008-11-10 21:31:10
My Score:

I caught this rock steady act in Stratton VT late last winter and was blown away by their presence and ability. Flying around fret boards and saxophones all the while directing the band and singing lead, Dave Littrell is never at a loss for creative expression and showmanship. Holding down the bottom is Josh Kerska. If not slapping a prog/funk beat on his six string bass, he's inviting the crowd into the bands very complex odd times style with his excellent wooden soup spoon plectrum attack. Dave Carter is a terrific player/singer who excels in amazingly interesting rhythms while simultaneously belting out the harmonies with Littrell. His command of the material and precise reproduction is awe inspiring. Lastly, if the band and music weren't terrific enough, they have in their possession a true gem in their lead guitarist Kevin Leman. Never in my years of playing and listening have I heard as complete a player as I have found in Leman. I could at great lengths describe it, but you wouldn't believe it. You must see it. And you must see this band in action. The Station is a special combination of talent and personality. You come away from their performance feeling how much they enjoy what they do and how they love displaying it for you. The albums are worth the investment, and the live show is fabulous. I liked them so much, I changed my plans to catch them a second night, and they never repeated a song from the first show. A+++++++

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