Digital Antique – S/T (Independent)
Not quite what I expected, which isn’t always such a bad thing. Having done a little research (let’s face it, not exactly arduous these days – thank you, Google), and found out the band are from Austin, Texas, I really did think that there had to be a little bit of country twang in it somewhere. However, Austin is a place that has musical roots far deeper than most of us expect, and now we can add ‘instrumental classical prog’ to the list that is already as diverse as punk, blues, rock, indie and country (of course) to this city’s musical credentials. And yes, there is no country twang here at all.
This music didn’t work for me the first time around. I found it lacking in variety, and without that variety, I found it difficult to concentrate. The second time around I was more aware of their intelligent playing, their quest to take a string quartet into what could be considered uncharted territory. They got very close to winning me over, but something was still missing.
The weakness with the album is that it lacks vocals. If you are looking to make great prog, as well as groundbreaking string quartet music, then a voice must be heard. It doesn’t even matter how often, just get some lyrics written, one of you must stand up and be counted...
Think about it; Genesis without Peter? Yes without Jon? Floyd without Syd? No, sorry, vocals are a necessity. It just has to be, chaps, it just has to be.