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Shell Of Certainty



Steve Franklin (keyboards), Tim Crowther (guitar and guitar synth), Tony

Marsh (drums).



Improvised electric music. These guys credentials look like a who's who of

'jazz-rock',or what we used to call 'prog-rock' back in the day. And

sound-wise at least, thatıs what it calls to my mind. Memories of Crimso and

the Softs, National Heath et al, kept recurring as I listened to this. But

that's just the SOUND of it. The structures are all improvised, so there's

not a lot of unison riffing or odd-meter time signatures. Instead we get

tasteful use of effects and much interplay, the keyboards at times acting as

backing for guitar forays, at others engaged in call and response, or

setting a general mood.

"Council Of All Being" sets out to be a vehicle for Crowther's guitar in a

no-key-or tone-center solo, with Franklin doing an excellent job of

following along (or maybe, going there with!). Eventually the keys take over

and the guitar synth backs up, and itıs all stop/start staccato notes and

drumming...until the big sweeping washes of chords come in and we're back to

guitar space. At least I think that's what Iım hearing. Itıs hard to tell


'Tremors" starts quieter and quicker, with more staccato, and definitely

recognizable strings and keys. These gents are listening well to each other,

with no one really taking over for any period of time. Eventually this tune

turns to call and response-type textures the drummer alternating between

filling in the holes and palying along with one or the other instrument.

"Arboreal"  is more ethereal sounding, washes of echoed chords and pinging

cymbals. Overall I'd recommend this to fans of the above mentioned bands, or

anyone interested in listening to players that listen.

                                                     jeph jerman



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