Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Joe Deninzon and Stratospheerius - The Next World

Se Ven Ties

Sev en ties / Se ven ties: three syllables, or three sounds – I suppose this makes it apt as a mantra. A music mantra. Music does not need to evoke the sound of the seventies to win my favour, but it can. Or invoke the sound of the seventies.

The violin as rock lead instrument is a seventies speciality, and I have addressed this elsewhere so will not return to details now. New York band Joe Deninzon and Stratospheerius has a lot of the seventies in its sound, not least the electrified violin of the band’s leader, but there is also bluegrass and folk – which is quite timeless – that dances around with the progressive and fusion layers. The violin Joe uses has seven strings: se ven / sev en.

Joe plays all the strings with virtuoso variation, and he sings. It is an excellent band and the album’s eleven tracks are all fine songs. Two great instrumental tracks are Ballad for Ding Bang and Road Rage, the first with melancholic moments that lead to an electric end, and the second plugged into the grid from the start. There is obviously a hint of Curved Air here and there, but that is an inevitable consequence of the precursor echo. There are many other progressive ricochets, as well as a tinge of West Coast in occasional harmonies. 7 out of Seven.

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