Wednesday, 28 September 2011
Levin Torn White
How do you end up with such a sense of corporate achievement when they did not even sit in the same room to make the music? Well the answer to that is clearly the director of operations Mr Schorr who piloted the three passengers so deftly and empathetically to the ultimate destination. However I suspect therein lays the key to why each player is able to deliver up such idiosyncratic and full performances. To continue the analogy Schoor flew them by an interesting route he even allowed them to choose the way there.
Listening late at night to this pillow full of dark emphasises the music’s earthiness and sharp urban unsentimental feel but it is never miserable or dull. The sense of enquiry is positive and uplifting rather than panic stricken or over clever and I think Alan’s contribution which is warm and soulful is crucial in this area. He maybe pushing the envelope but the playing is routed in his natural modesty.
Tony is a one man bass orchestra and his contribution gives the music depth drive and sophistication, for me he is a perfect foil for Torn’s cut glass cold as ice challenging guitar work providing warm fat bass sounds that Torn can go wild and tear it up over.
I hear three very distinct phases with this CD. The first six are hectic rhythmic powerhouse pieces. If we have to place it, it shares the density of latter day Crimson with just the right amount of blunt aggression but less dependent on power riffs. We then enter a four section piece where the moods are less percussive and could be described as modern tone poems giving the CD a sonic band width and making it a much broader journey. The next three pieces sound much more conventional more riff laden and the guitar plays up the tune. Crunch time is tour de force time and is in your face audacity a little like Transatlantic’s most frantic moments. Braintime completes the more in your face clever metal rock group feel before the prefect shouts Lights Out which has a nice mid pace and allows Torn to paint a series of intriguing urban soundscapes. They all ease off slightly and dig deep yielding constantly creative insights chipping in wonderful riffs, colours and pulses before it ends without ceremony reflecting like the cover a simple message three big performances up close and focused.
This in the end is a wonderful convergence and it is that that makes it sound fresh, vibrant and new because all those involved are set free to be themselves with others.