Every now and then a band surfaces from the obscurity of the underground music scene to cross my desk and mess with my ears and mind. Houston's Liquid Casing is one of those bands. You can search the Internet and find oodles of verbiage being written about this band and their latest A Separate Divide. Much of it probably more profound than anything I'm going to write here.
Why? Because I've listened to this album several times and I still find it somewhere from mesmerizing to intriguing to stupefying. My reaction remains: what to say about this work. Those who know me know that I'm not usually at loss for words or an opinion. But here we go.
We all know progressive rock when we hear it, and that's the overarching category for Liquid Casing. But there's much more going on here. The band flirts with everything from avant garde to experimental music, from heavy rock to free form jazz. The fundamental wild card, the monkey in the wrench so to speak, is the saxophone play of Okikiolu Olufokunbi, which moves from withering to lilting to specificity. He doesn't so much as solo, but ramble along like a rickety old pick up on a dusty road. Just listen to Alambriata. This saxophone makes Liquid Casing sound like a mash of The Mars Volta, Mogwai, and Fugazi channeling the ghost of John Coltrane. Spooky.
Yet the entire soundscape of A Separate Divide is cryptic in it's profound creativity. You can listen to Non-Linear Solution, Riot Path, or The Line Which Divides with some sense of familiarity for more experimental prog music. The latter may be the most accessible song here, even with it's brash saxophone at the center. Then A Path of Footprints Forged in the Midnight Sun is a monster, subversive in it's heaviness, distortion, and hidden melody. They bring this noise back in Fingerprint Armada, possibly the closest thing to a rock song here. Finally, Checkpoints and Borders may be the lightest song here as there is nothing blaring or blazing; it's mostly ambient keyboards and guitar with Alvaro Rodriguez's moaning voice above it all.
If you're looking for something off the beaten path, something both inherently perplexing and difficult to ignore, then get down with Liquid Casing and A Separate Decide. But if you like your music safe and familiar, then pass. Listen below.
If you're looking for something off the beaten path, something both inherently perplexing and difficult to ignore, then get down with Liquid Casing and A Separate Decide. But if you like your music safe and familiar, then pass.
Mat Sinner is both an icon and legend in the German, and the larger European, hard rock and heavy metal scene. Cranking out music since 1982, Sinner is an industrious and prolific musician and producer whether through his namesake band, the heavy metal heroes Primal ... [ Read More ]