TriPod - s/t
(Moonjune Records 2003, MJR004)
Uploaded to Aural Innovations: October 2003
Based in New York, TriPod play a killer mixture of progressive rock and jazz, with healthy does of in-yer-face King Crimson styled heavy rock. The band consists of Clint Bahr on 12 string bass and vocals, Keith Gurland on saxophones, flute, clarinet and vocals, and Steve Romano on drums. On their web site the band proudly proclaim NO GUITARS or KEYBOARDS!, much in the way the early Queen albums would boast "and nobody played synthesizers".
Throughout the CD's 14 tracks we are treated to blazing avant-prog-thrash, with quirky angular rhythmic twists and turns. Some of the jazz elements remind me of In The Wake Of Poseidon era King Crimson, though that's just one piece of the pie. TriPod could easily make a name for themselves as an instrumental outfit, and it's unusual to hear much of what they do with vocals, though the band do a damn fine job of making songs out of what are essentially kick ass instrumental constructions.
Musically these guys are tight-as-a-knot. Bahr's bass is a commanding presence, more than capably handling the guitar role. Romano is a powerhouse drummer. And Gurland's saxophone and clarinet shred as good as the best 6-stringed axe-wielders. The sax and 12-string bass are a potent combination indeed. There are some decent songs in the set but the trio are at their best when rocking hard, cranking out off-kilter and continually changing compositions, which often include a Zappa-like sense of quirkiness and humor. But there are dreamier atmospheric moments as well, like the spacey haunting "Ghosts" and the ethereal but jazzy "Smoke & Mirrors".
Those familiar with TriPod's previous CD (see AI #18) will recognize three of the tracks: "Jerome's Spotlight", "Trip The Light" and "As The Sun", though the versions on the new CD are considerably tighter and the sound is 100% better. You can also get a taste for what TriPod are like live by downloading a one song RealMedia video performance from their web site. Doesn't a bass/horn/drums trio sound like your cup of tea? Trust me... these guys will blow your face out. Recommended to prog rockers of all stripes.
For more information you can visit the TriPod web site at: http://www.tripod-theband.com.
The CD is distributed by Moonjune Records. You can visit their web site at: http://www.moonjune.com.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz