The Toronto-based quartet Peripheral Vision offers up Irrational Revelation and Mutual Humiliation, the group's fifth release in a discography that began in 2014 with Sheer Tyranny Of Will (Step3). The leaders, guitarist Don Scott and bassist Michael Herring, anchor a tight rhythm section with drummer Nick Fraser, rounded out with alto saxophonist Trevor Hogg. Distinctively modern in sound, toe tapping grooves abound, powering ahead with a momentum as in synch as that of Chick Corea's' Elektric Band.
Irrational Revelation, the first disc in the two CD set (Mutual Humiliation is the second), is center-pieced by the fourteen minute, three part "Reconciliation Suite," addressing the historical mistreatment of the indigenous Canadian population. The tune begins in an anguished, near free-jazz mode, the guitar and saxophone wailings spiraling around each other against a turbulent backdrop that shifts into sorrowful solemnity on a eloquent Herring bass solo, soon joined, in a minimalist fashion, by the rest of the quartet. Then things brighten and shift into a hopeful groove that sounds like a top notch surf-rock band, guitarist Scott noodling with a high energy elan, followed by the irrepressible sound of "For Kent Monkman," a tribute to the Canadian Indigenous artist.
The album is co-produced by Jean Martin, who was responsible for expanding the group's approach, layering and overdubbing the live-in-the-studio sounds with of the guest artists he recruitedkeyboardists and a vibraphonistfleshing out and enhancing the fresh spontaneity of the quartet.
The vision, over the entirety of the two discs, maintains a remarkable focus of intent, to " ...balance the drive for forward momentum with the neuroses that hold us back" (as the liner notes put it). It seems quite the success in that regard, on a sprawling musical statement that addresses everything from racial inequalities, a Marilyn Monroe quote from her most famous film appearance, clothes washing problems in Germany, Panamanian snakes and "Fish Who Can Do Math."
CD 1: Whistle Up A Rope; Hanging In, Hanging On, Hanging Out; Reconciliation Suite; For Kent Monkman; The
Who Can't Do Math; Brooklyn's Bearded; Man Vs Zafu. CD 2: Title Crisis; Kopfkino; S N A Kee SSS; Neo-
For Pacifists; N12; Schleudern; Mutual Humiliation Society.