Tom Hayes 29-Sep-2006 Flattening Mountains and Creating Empires

Despite the Roger Dean cover and fancy title, these guys are totally out of the grunge garage from their native Seattle. Generally compared in catalogs to King Crimson, Anekdoten and Present, I hear more 35007, Don Caballero and Slint. It just screams INDIE. It’s all Mathy, Alt-X flavor of the day, or whatever the hipsters are into this minute (but not next). Chord on chord guitar progressions, some metal riffs, an occasional wah wah solo all point to the dual 6 chord activities and provides most of the music entertainment. The rhythm section holds it together, but adds little more. The addition of violin, viola, cello, piano and trumpet on ‘Pachydermus’ saves this from a complete tonal wasteland. Vermilion present an all instrumental disc, within four very lengthy tracks, exception being some dopey yelling on the opener ‘Frequent Universal Creations Keep Sound Eternally and Thoroughly Tasting Like Energy’ (though the title provides fun for those who like word games). There’s an odd mid 60s era jazz pop melody that penetrates the roll-off-the-tongue title ‘1313101310137107’ (looks like a Mensa puzzle to me, as in what’s the next number in the sequence?). In the end, hard to get excited about this album, but then again it’s more entertaining than the majority of connect-the-dots indie albums that the band no doubt were familiar with. Seems the band may have had a much better album in them, but disappeared shortly thereafter along with its label, California based Redwood Records.

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