Band: Inner Ear Brigade
CD Title: Dromology
Label: Independent Release (2017)
Rating: Satisfying 3/5
Dromology is the second album for the San Francisco based six-member outfit known as Inner Ear Brigade. In describing their music I couldnít say it better than their promo material which says they play a unique mix of Progressive Rock, jazz and experimental pop all of which makes for a very proggy vibe. Itís a forty-five minute listen with seven compositions all around the six to eight minute range. As I listened to their music on a long drive in the car I was struck by a number of sonic reference points. Thereís a little bit of the Bay area psychedelic vibe happening, lots of Canterbury feels and a little bit of Avant-prog as well. I was reminded of bands like Bent Knee partially because of Melody Ferris whose assured vocals carve out a melody line that oftentimes is in a world of its own all the while connecting to the composition at key points. There are moments where itís easy to hear that Canterbury feel where the jazz influences create a kind of busy but light mood. Then there are other times where the band sounds like early Chicago with all the horns, but itís a somewhat jazzier Chicago. All this lies on top of a pretty solid rock rhythm foundation but even here that rock vibe is influenced by the Canterbury band sound. And just when you think youíve heard it all, the compositional structure of many of these pieces betrays a subtle classical feel as well. Itís pretty amazing stuff, not everyoneís cup-of-tea for sure, but fascinating music just the same. Clearly if you like your prog to be a little out-there on the edge with a strong jazzy flavor Inner Ear Brigade is a band you have to check out.