Experimental Jazz Rock
February 5th, 2016 – auralgamiSOUNDS
Formerly D’Arkestra, Curio Key Club is the most recent evolution of the musical stylings of Louisville’s Drew Miller, fleshed out into a band of seven thoroughly talented musicians. Songs on Curio Key Club are even more patient and complex in their form and texture than the D’Arkestra music that came before them – the band having progressed to an even greater, more tasteful ability of playing off each other’s ideas. All seven musicians play as a hive mind, even in the most complicated and tempestuous moments of the album, staying welded together in their groove and interjecting at just the right moments. The album is well realized as a whole, pacing itself with both sung songs and instrumental tracks, building an intensity and carrying a momentum as it carries on. “Running Man,” one of the album’s pre-released singles is propelled by its drums and bass, with a rhythmically contrasting chorus – as a sub-four-minute track, it serves as a great representation of the band’s sound. The album’s final track, “Killing Fields,” hides five minutes of intricate instrumental work behind a somewhat less intense first half, before bringing the album to a close. Kudos to Kevin Ratterman of La La Land for his recording skills and for making such a complex album speak with such clarity; similarly, I really enjoyed the collaged art that Brandon Bass put together for the album’s packaging. It’s refreshing to hear music as thoughtfully orchestrated and tastefully complex as the songs on Curio Key Club, making the album an enjoyable and repeatable listen.
Tracks I Liked: Running Man!!!, Tweezer Chef!!, Faceless!, Slang Transit!, See Yourself!!, Killing Fields!!!
Ben Southworth – February 3rd, 2016 – Kenwick Place
Genre: Experimental Jazz-Fusion
I’m a bit behind on writing this review, but when I received this album, I was immediately excited to just listen to something for the sake of listening to it (a rarity nowadays, haha.) Lead by saxophonist Drew Miller – who has also shared his talents with Lucky Pineapple and Another7Astronauts – the album is a great bit of experimental jazz, and the influences of these bands can be heard in this recording. Whether the track features vocals or not, the song is allowed to play out before the band introduces the next idea. The album’s title track is probably the best on here, as it accomplishes all sorts of good things – instrumentally, vocally, structurally – and shows off the jazz training of the band members quite well. The rest of the album moves along like this, with a dizzying sound that staggers along, but never gives the feeling of falling over. It’s recorded very well, and if you (like me) are a little slow on the uptake of this local talent, I’d certainly recommend checking out.
Tracks I Liked: Jazzist!!, Halogen!, Ghost Town!!!, Ghetto Boo… I Miss You! (nice and funky), Squares and Squares!!, Boogaloo!
– Ben Southworth