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Finneus Gauge is quirky, shifty, tricky, elusive, fun like running through a narrow hallway full of hundreds of crickets, each leaping for attention and chirping in some crazed unison. You are deluged with a myriad of notes, chords, rhythms, vocals and brief pauses just before being swept away into another delightful maelstrom of song. And songs are what this group is about not endless jams nor lengthy progrock ascensions into the overdone "crescendo cul-de-sac". Ten well-crafted ballads and two instrumentals are served. All are tinged with the delicate intensity of angered hornets and counterpoint enough to make Schoenberg shuffle and Bartok boogie.
If you need a place to hang your ear and say, "Ah, yes they sound like . . .", well I offer these parallelisms and likely influences. Splice a tape of Hatfield and the North's Rotters Club and Bruford's Feels Good To Me together. Most importantly insert a good deal of female vocals in the cavalier-cool spirit of Annette Peacock. Now overlay it compositionally with the obvious ghost in the machine of Echolyn's As the World.
You must approach this music with a healthy appetite for complexity and the unpredictable. If you're into cutting edge, ultra-hip grooves, tempo twirls, and hyper-kinetic gymnastics in song structuring then Finneus Gauge more than satisfies. Not a half second is wasted in their pieces. There are no commercial carbon imperfections in the glistening diamonds hidden in every progressive facet of this CD. This is truly a "jazzrock-fusion-with-multi-part-vocals" roller coaster rush!
Finneus Gauge is: Chris Buzby on keys and backing vocals, John Buzby on drums and backing vocals, Chris Eike on basses, Laura Martin on lead and backing vocals and Scott McGill on guitars. Yeah, that is Chris Buzby of Echolyn fame and Scott McGill of the amazing Hand Farm release. Keyboard magazine recognized More Once More as one of the top five alums from 1997. So why haven't you bought this yet? Most highly recommended and thoroughly enjoyed twas a privilege to have reviewed this one.
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.