Sonic Reducer

2 min read
Share ::
Tim Hagans’ trumpet burns on a low, hot blue flame, welding your ears to his ideas. He keeps pyrotechnics out of it; the better to tell his stories, a perfect blend of atmosphere and line. The open-ended harmonies of pianist Marc Copland, who contributes four tracks (“Over and Back”—opium dreaminess with an amphetamine edge—could be subtitled “Monk Meets Sting”) give him plenty of room, and bassist Drew Gress and drummer Jochen Rückert keep it tight like that. Three standards, including the “Alone Together” title track, “You Don’t Know What Love Is” and the stellar “Stella by Starlight,” round out this fine release. (MM)

People in Planes Beyond the Horizon (Wind-Up Records)

South Wales quartet People in Planes never met a crescendo it didn’t want to snatch up with its drama-rock jaws. It likes to get loud, but there don’t have to be huge flourishes and grandiose soundscapes for this band to make you cry, make out or spaz. Sometimes it just takes an acoustic guitar. Gareth Jonas’ born-to-be-a-rockstar voice is always blaring and, more often than not, he’s got a squadron of screechy guitars, synths and thunderous drums behind him. It’s not the first band to tie on the epic alt.rock cape, but there’s a lot of room in the genre to play around. People in Planes are like kids on the jungle gym, toying with fuzz, electronic noise and sky-scraping vocals. (SM)

Doomtree Doomtree (Doomtree Records)

Doomtree is the hottest collective since the Wu-Tang Clan. Bold statement, but the moment you pop this album in, you’re bombarded into agreement with theatric samples and clever slang. P.O.S. fronts the Midwest crew, but it’s safe to say he’s not the only sharp thorn on the Doomtree branch. Dessa, the only female artist in Doomtree, has the soul of Lauryn Hill and packs prose like Jack Kerouac. Not to mention the album has 21 tracks laced with heartache, liver pains and head-banging hip-hop. (JH)

1 2 3 316