The Anagram Principle is the collaboration of two Pittsburgh musicians, Tedd Arnold and Bob Neft. Both men have skilled talent, and much experience in the larger western Pennsylvania region. Additionally, in recent years, both men have made individual recordings on their label Earth Cat Records. From what information I could discover, Inventor appears to be their first work together as The Anagram Principle.
To start, while the larger genre category is progressive rock, the duo and the album swerve more towards electronic and synthesizer based music. Across the album, their sound can sway from ambient rock to space rock to basically large amounts of synths and programming. I'm guessing besides keyboards and drums, there may be some MIDI programming going on here, also. (Hate that MIDI crap.) There may be a theme, or concept, to the album, revolving around invention and inventors, but I'm not sure. There's little explanation of the album on their website, at least not that I could find in a cursory search.
Frankly, I'm not to keen on progressive rock where ninety-five percent of the instrumentation is from keyboard or electronics. It's hyperbole, an overstatement from a single instrument. It's like listening to an entire album of neo-classical shred guitar that lacks a traditional song context. Most of Inventor reminds me of Nik Turner's psychedelic space rock, but more ambient with no guitars. And we all know that every Nik Turner album sounds the same: most of the songs on this album sound the same (but different). It also reminds me a bit of Sixties Kraut Rock, like Joel Vandroogenbroeck and Brainticket without the sitar and Hammond organ.
One of the disturbing things about the album is Tedd Arnold's vocals. At times, he has this quivering high timbre which creeped me out, like a mad scientist trying to mesmerize me (my original analogy was not fit to print); other times, he's sounds mechanical and monotonous. Apparently, according to the CD credits, both men play guitar on this album. I think they left six-strings in the next room or dropped them off at the pawn shop, because I can't hear them anywhere on this album.
My conclusion for this album is not flattering. Inventor comes across as two skilled musicians collaborating in individual musical masturbation with keyboards in hand. They created this music because it felt good doing so. Inventor has seen its last spin in my player. Listen to AfterMath below: your opinion will likely differ.
The Anagram Principle's Inventor is largely electronic music centered upon keyboards and keyboard programming. In this sense, it walks a tightrope between to dangerous results, hyperbole and monotony.
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