A work in progress since 1998, Strange Land now consists of only two members, Sean Gill (g,b,v,k) and Brad Klotz (d,v,brass), operating as a studio duo creating eclectic progressive rock and metal. Delta-V is their fourth album to date.
It probably isn't entirely fair or correct to call the band's music eclectic, but to say that there's some variety across this album. Alternatively, with some exceptions, the album is also held together by an abundance of sharp heavy riffage and leads from Gill and Klotz's versatile drumming. Un-fare for the Common Man, Under Watchful Eyes, Dr. Manhattan, and Root Canal In 3-Part offer those bristling weighty riffs, with the latter two songs being occasions for Gill to rip off some energetic leads.
Other songs project something else. For instance, Protagonize seems to attempt some kind of novelty, but has ear bleeding combination of abrasive vocals and razor riffs. Conversely, Whisper Change is mostly an acoustic guitar intro to Solid, perhaps the most subdued, even gentle, piece. The riffs and drums moderate for some light melodic prog rock. Another song of interest strays far from most everything else is Luke's Blue Serial. Written by Klotz it features his drums and brass contributions, with Gill's bass providing the backbone. Oddly, it reminds me of something between older jazz and big band music, minus the big band. It's the best piece here. Intermittently throughout there these segues which, excepting the aforementioned Whisper Change and Tetsuro in Honorable Pursuit of Oneness With His Instrument, are largely Seinfeld moments. That Tetsuro piece is Klotz demonstrating his significant drum skills.
Fundamentally, Gill and Klotz are a creative pair with eclectic taste, having an equally innovative direction to their music. Yet, as much as I like prog, there's nothing entirely accessible about their music. Outside of listening to it twice for this review, I'll likely never turn to it again. It's probably something for the diehard prog or art rock wonk.
Sean Gill and Brad Klotz, aka Strange Land, are a creative pair with eclectic taste, having an equally innovative direction to their music. Yet, as much as I like prog, there's nothing entirely accessible about their music, but it is interesting.
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