ORCHESTRAL ROCK- Jherek Bischoff wrangles up a group of incredible musicians-- David Byrne, Nels Cline, Greg Saunier (Deerhoof), Dawn McCarthy (Faun Fables), and Carla Bozulich among them-- to craft a set of rich, ornate rock pieces. Oh, and he’s got a whole orchestra behind him too, which makes every song feel grandiose, but it’s never overdone. This should be at the top of the charts. Indie rock lovers, non-snobby experimental types, and anyone else with a heart will find something to love here. No FCC’s detected.
Track reviews inside. Every track is fantastic, although my favorites are 3, 4, 7, and 9.
(All but 1 have vocals)
1. Short but grand instrumental intro. Just strings. Play with 2.
2. Sweet, free-spirited tune. Soaring strings and vox. (Byrne)
3. Sparser, experimental. Woodwind flourishes contrast with a tense, sometimes frantic foundation. (Saunier--yes!)
4. Waltz time. Pensive, nervous. Mysterious harp, beautiful vox (Mirah Zeitlyn).
5. Experimental. Grandiose opening, but dissolves into something edgy. Nels Cline contributes a distorted solo.
6. Plodding, tense. No percussion.
7. My favorite. Bozulich’s distinctive vocals give this a haunting fairy-tale grandiosity.
8. Uptempo, poppy. Male/female vocal exchange.
9. Big one. Lonely vox (McCarthy) with orchestral swells. Unfolds into an epic. Yes!