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(51 min, 'Might Could')
TRACK LIST: 1. Machinery 3:34 2. Lapse 3:49 3. The Miscommunication Suite 5:23 4. Tricycle 3:44 5. Standoff 4:24 6. Instability 3:21 7. Puijilittatuq 6:43 8. Interchange-3 3:51 9. A Horrible Croaking 7:01 10. Not Every Song Finds a Name 8:08 11. The Water Parted 5:47 LINEUP: Andy Tillotson - guitar Aaron Geller - guitar Tim McCaskey - guitar Luis Nasser - bass
Prolusion. The history of the US quartet MIGHT COULD begins in 2000, when Andy Tillotson met Aaron Geller, Tim McCaskey and Luis Nasser (also of Sonus Umbra). Three years later the guys finished their first recording, the eponymous Might Could EP, which was released on CD-R. "All Intertwined" is their first full-length and, that being said, full-fledged album, coming as a digipack CD.
Analysis. The object of this review is not your typical monochromatic acoustic guitar album, which is not only because it represents the performance of four players and, thus, has a rather saturated sonic palette and a relatively dense sound. Upon the first spin the album appears to be stylistically uniform, completely coinciding with what we know as a classic acoustic guitar Art-Rock-like music. The further exploration gives a more precise idea of the material's essence, displaying that it is not confined within some one particular direction. While rarely exceeding the bounds of a symphonic harmony, the quartet, nevertheless, performs a rather polymorphous music, from time to time appealing to quasi improvisations and, sometimes, using even Prog-Metal-like devices, which are particularly striking on the fast, intense and energetic opening number, Machinery. The next piece, Lapse, contains an episode, whose content arouses immediate associations with Robert Fripp, or, to be more precise, with the technique the maestro invented prior to the first reincarnation (or the second incarnation, if you will) of King Crimson and which he for the first time presented on his turning solo album "Exposure" in 1979. The Miscommunication Suite is made up of five sections and can in many ways be viewed as a little Classical music concerto for three acoustic guitars and bass. The further tracks combine all the mentioned and implied styles and designs in differing proportions, although basic passages never lose a symphonic sense, even when the bass lines remain alone at the fore, resembling Hard Rock-like riffing. No unison and the like solos (in 4th or 5th); each of the musicians weaves his own intricate patterns, different from the others, the music being normally in a state of constant development. That said, the classical influences, at least in latent form, can be found on each of the tracks, particularly many on those located below the album's conventional equator. Whether accidentally or not, but the longer pieces: Puijilittatuq, A Horrible Croaking, Not Every Song Finds a Name and The Water Parted each even more resembles a suite in construction than the correspondingly titled one. Unlike any of the preceding tracks, the amount of reflective passages on these four exceeds that of intense joint jams, and nevertheless, being abundant in innovative ideas, these are most compelling to my taste.
Conclusion. Having attracted a certain dose of imagination while listening to the album, I can easily get a picture of how Steve Howe, Steve Hackett and Robert Fripp would play together would they gather to make a joint effort. California Guitar Trio would also be an apt point of comparison. However, I like Might Could better than the latter project, above all for their thoughtfulness in composition, which they never sacrifice to their performance possibilities, although their technical filigree is also part of what makes this album one of the winners within its genre category.
VM: January 15, 2006
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