Chico, CA prog quintet Clouds On Strings have made a concept EP about fruit. That's right, about fruit. Pomology puts the spotlight on an Apple, a Banana, a Kiwi and a Grapefuit. These guys sound old school in a good way. All the fun aside these guys can actually play, mixing avant-garde with a bit of jazz and lots of progressive rock. The contents of this EP are highly nutritious, low on fat, and high on fun and musicianship.
The first bars of Apple contain the sum of the band's musical heroes. With violin player Matthew Weiner channeling Jean-Luc Ponty, the quintet changes pace and takes twist and turns, like they are bouncing within the core of the subject mater, bumping into seeds, and cutting their way to the carpels. Banana is more rock oriented with a jazzy orchestral vibe, not unlike Rush - it a song that can open up on stage. Kiwi is more complex, with Joshua Hegg's meandering keyboards interlocking with layered vocals. The EP's closer Grapefruit is the closest they get to King Crimson, with a bit of Zappa in his Flo & Eddie period thrown in.
Caveat! The Start Menu is nearly half an hour of the singer inventing you in dozens of ways to press next. It can be skipped without offending the band. Otherwise, dive in and end up either in a rage or laughing uncontrollably. "Welcome to Pomology, a musical cornucopia. Come with me on a fruitful adventure through rhythm and harmony. Over the hills and through the fertile valleys of your brain. Press next to begin."
Clouds On Strings:
Michael Bone: guitar and vocals
Matthew Franklin: drums
Joshua Hegg: keyboards
Randall Jangula: bass and vocals
Matthew Weiner: violin
- Start Menu
Video: Clouds On Strings - Banana
(live @ @ The Beachside Grill, Oceanside, CA)
- 03/15 Café Coda, Chico, CA
- 03/16 Blue Lamp, Sacramento, CA
- 03/20 Grant and Green Saloon, San Francisco, CA
- 04/05 Café Coda, Chico, CA
- 05/23 La Salle's, Chico, CA