by Joe Shea
May 1, 2013
'LAST ALBUM' BRINGS AN AMERICAN VERSION OF 'BOLERO' TO LIFE
BRADENTON, Fla., May 1, 2013 -- In this sleepy Florida Gulf Coast town, which has nonetheless spawned Rascal Flatts and some pretty great blues festivals, "Last Album Before the End of Time" may replace Starbucks as the wake-up way to go.
The progressive rock album by San Francisco-based ScioenceNV was recorded in high-def audio, and has already garnered some rave reviews.
The album's first cut, "Mars," a 9:15-minute track tah rivals Ravel's "Bolero" in its probing lines and extraordinary energy, won't make you dance or hum the tune, but it will drive you to do something - anything - to get the day going faster. ScienceNV is a San Francisco band that obviously has a lot on its mind.
The third track, the 5:01 "Molecular Super-Modeling," is a sweet version of the fist cut, which like the third suggests both hope and danger in the years the world has left.
I had never heard of the band or the album when I got a press release from the band's marketing man, Gary Hill od Roscoe, Ill. When the CD arrived a few days later in a manila envelope hand-addressed in black, I worried it might have ricin in it. The science-fiction graphics on the cover made me wonder whether I really wanted to hear it. But when I heard the opening riffs of "Mars," I was immediately hooked.
"Mars" sounded like the sound track for the build-up to U.S. involvement in the Syrian civil war, which was what I was focused on at the time. It is compelling, powerful music, perhaps slightly flawed by some rough instrumental edges in the production that are fortunately absent on all the other tracks.
In a forthcoming review by Jason Hillenburg for the Music Street Joutrnal, Hillenburg writes, "Few bands or performers can convincingly juggle the sheer variety of sound that ScxienceNV offers. However, the tremendous intelligence and musicality at work here enables the compositions to cover an immense amount of ground...This is a progressive rock master class, a throwback to an earlier time, and a vital demonstration of what equal parts ambition and skill can achieve." I couldn't agree more.
The music is fundamentally rock instruments that are doing a kind of symphonic jazz, for lack of a better description. It is bright stuff, reminding me of Erik Satuie's "Three Pieces in the Shape of a Pear" and a beautiful flute piece on a Chick Corea album my first wife once owned.
But what a wake-up call. In its way, "Mars" speaks to the whole music world, demanding change, attention asnd action. It is definitely worth acquiring any way you can.
Resources: Visit http://www.sceincenv.com,