I don't often do this but here goes . . . BUY THIS. If you call yourself a prog rocker, Canterbury scene music lover, retro-art-rocker, avant-garde dabbler, jazzy fusionist, or just plain eclectically oriented as myself quickly find this.Volar' '90s tribute to all that was cool in the open-ended experimentation of the '70s is pure finesse, polished, engaging and downright fun. Not a single track is weak. Patrick Strawser is a genius on keys and synth. Steve Hatch knows his guitars and pulls off some the finest array of effects you'll find anywhere without being tweaky. His voicings and skills are uniquely twisted and hip-cool groovy. He also plays mandolin and Light sabre, (go figure). Richard M. Kesler bends and throbs his bass into throbbing, thumping submission. He does delightful sax too when the muse requires. Brian Donohoe is absolute perfecto drums and great etc.
If you relish the wonders of National Health, Hatfield and the North, or Phil Miller solo works Volar' is a wonderful echo. On "Midnight Clear", " . . . in two seconds of time . . .", "Vespers" when Kesler adds reed and Strawser plays piano, even a coying Happy the Man aura pulses. I should point out that on "Black and White", Hatch roars and slays his overdriven, distortion-rich guitar wonderfully. This tune, in this not-so-humble reviewer's opinion, is the real Volar' with no other-band mimicry.
Now that Volar' is history, (too bad), with Hatch and Donohoe in a new incarnation, Matter Eater, it is obvious the last track was a foreshadowing of things to come in another band format. Again, I affirm this is a must-have, first-and-last release collector's item. Huge salutes here!!
Volar': The Uncertainty Principle (CD, 61:33); The Laser's Edge, 1997
The Laser's Edge
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