Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Impressive German Electricity from the Season Standard

February 17, 2009—In my earlier days I came across an idea by I forget who. The tempo of a music, the thought goes, increases parallel to the amount of social upheaval present in the surrounding society. For the world we inhabit there are times of that sort. And today’s CD is packed with music of a rapid density, for the most part. Now I don’t think such an idea can be proven and there may be nothing to it ultimately, but the debut album of the German group The Season Standard (Squeeze Me Ahead of Line [Unsung]) speeds up the passing musical landscape to a captivating, exhilarating blur at times.

We’re talking about a progressive rock quartet: guitar/guitar-keys/bass/drums with vocals. The drummer Simon Beyer is a remarkable anchor and fire branding energizer for the group sound. He plays a very busy, sometimes asymmetrical and always driving brand of funk-rock rhythm that sets up the band’s pieces irresistibly. The music is complex and at the forefront of what can be done with what has been. Think of the funky elements of Yes, Beefheart, Zep and what followed only intensify it in a boiling, bubbling cauldron of notedness, like Mars Volta hooked up to a sophisticated music machine. There’s a lot of music contained in any given minute of this disk and it is nothing throwaway. It’s very good and very interesting. It rarely stops to look around. It’s going somewhere relentlessly, excitingly.

Mathias Jahnig has a good sense of his instrument (guitar) and the others are similarly situated. Mathias’ vocals have kind of a half-speed anchorage in the swirling musical pattern and give the band a second pivoting point (with the drums the first) in this multi-centered music. It’s fascinating. It’s great. I am impressed and want to hear more.

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