Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Gembrokers & Break Of Reality

The Gembrokers

The Gembrokers are an acoustic trio from Santa Cruz, California. Their second album, Bury The Sound is a remarkably textured release that spans many variants of folk styled music. Heartfelt, honest, and uncompromising songwriting makes this piece stand out during a time in music where so much is mired in uncertainty and change; this group takes a step back instead and presents something fresh regardless.

The Demon brings the listener into a darkening swamp at dusk and leaves them there. Effortlessly exceptional musicianship and harmonic balance ebbs and flows, drifting along only allowing the listener to catch but a glimpse of some figure watching from distance through a misty tree-scape. The title track Bury The Sound, has perhaps the most interesting combination of styles and techniques. This song opens with a piano and vocal narrative which transitions into a passage that hearkens simpler times, with traditional European influences. To The Sea is a raw vocal and piano oriented ballad. Powerful and soulful, this track emphasizes hopefulness at the end of one long journey while facing the start of another.

Featuring complex vocal harmonies and a seamless integration of multiple instruments, Bury The Sound is an excellent example of less can certainly be more if one adequately utilizes one’s resources. A lack of percussion stands out while not feeling at all missed, as often times the percussive nature of The Gembrokers rhythms adds a layer of dimension through this minimalism.

Break of Reality

Rochester, New York founded Break of Reality, has made three releases with extensive touring in support of these albums. Spectrum of the Sky, released in 2009, is an amalgamation of classic technique and modern rhythmic styling. With this release, Break of Reality may alter one's previous conceptions of what can be done with a four piece band and classical instruments.

The Farewell sets a dramatic atmosphere with choppy cello bowing, intricate violin narratives, and a percussive emphasis. With hints of Western European influence, The Farewell conveys the occurrence of an important event that has been a long time coming.