It’s a rare feat for a band to put out an album that truly encapsulates such a distinct, intense feeling; one that is both indescribable and yet tangible at the same time.
NYC’s “Sci-fi Middle Eastern Fusion” trio, Consider the Source, have done just that.
The genre-bending instrumental group has just released the first installment of a triple album called World War Trio (Part 1), with Part 1 released fittingly on Halloween Day.
The first installment entitled …Put Another Rock in That Bag is a twenty-five minute piece of six parts, of which each part takes on a uniquely creative life of its own.
“Part I”, the first track on the album, sounds like a combination of the X-Files theme song and Slayer’s “Season’s in the Abyss”. The song opens with the incredibly percussive and blistering fast slap bass rhythms of bassist John Ferrara, which immediately prepares the listener for an onslaught of high energy mayhem. Seemingly from another dimension, guitarist Gabriel Marin rips into an other-worldly solo on his fretless, double-neck guitar (as he frequently does) playing what I imagine would be the soundtrack to an alien invasion. The relentlessness of drummer/percussionist Jeff Mann is equally as impressive. Mann uniquely employs prog/metal style fills and double-bass kick drumming, jazz-fusion inspired polyrhythms and spacey ePads together in a harmonious way that only further cements this song as a stand-out single on the album.
Just as they’ve left you on the edge of your seat, Consider the Source then take you in the opposite direction on the next track, “Part II”. Making use of layered and syncopated guitar parts, ambient, calming background noise, warm, effects-laden bass tones and sporadic, yet controlled drumming, “Part II” functions well as a soothing answer to “Part I”.
Transitioning nicely into the next song, “Part III” picks up where the previous one left off, this time featuring transcendental-like acoustic guitar and bubbly bass tones, as well as nuanced cymbal work. The song continues to build into the last minute, which evolves into Marin’s signature spacey soloing and then more aggressive, distorting riffing, complemented by increased intensity and pace behind the drums and bass.
“Part IV” continues on this ethereal path by incorporating more layered guitars, one of which creates a melodic soundscape while the other gently floats around Marin’s fretless guitar, this time in a slower, interstellar fashion. Ferrara’s bass lines here add greatly to the melody of the song, working well in conjunction with Mann’s incorporation of toms. About halfway through this track, it all of a sudden takes on a metal-esque sound, with sole, start-and-stop distorted guitar. The song then moves back and forth between its previous ambient vibe and then back into an extremely heavy breakdown of guitar and bass riffage and thunderous drums and cymbals.
The final track on …Put Another Rock in That Bag, “Part V” and “Part VI”, is a solid representation of the overall feeling that I got when listening to this album. The song again features elements of spacey ambience, middle-eastern and prog/metal inspired guitar and bass riffs and solos, and the controlled chaos of Mann’s wild drumming. In fact, the exact riffs and melodies from “Part I” make their way into “Part VI”, which ends in an epic symphony full of huge distorted guitar, lightning-fast bass, cymbals and double-bass kick drums, and more of those extraterrestrial-sounding noises.
All in all, this is an amazing sounding album. The compositions of the songs are all obviously well thought out, and almost every song in some way incorporates unique time signatures and tonalities that mesh beautifully together. The musicianship is superior as always, and the band’s playing has only been enhanced by the great recording and production on the album.
…Put Another Rock in That Bag will surely satisfy both old and new Consider the Source fans alike, and will undoubtedly wet the listener’s appetite for more, as we all anxiously await the release of the other two albums in the World War Trio collection.
Consider the Source is currently supporting the release of World War Trio (Part 1) with an extensive tour of the East Coast and MidWest. I highly recommend you check them out at one of their upcoming tour dates.
-Mark McGwin 10/31/14 @markmcgwin