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We Are The Rowboats by Krakatoa

Brooklyn-ites Krakatoa are of the "new wave" of prog-rock (short for the sub-genre formerly known as progressive rock), where the wretched excesses of the past (interminable solos, murky production, hokey/pretentious concept/narratives) are left behind in favor of a lighter touch, while keeping going the concept of the possibilities of the fusion of rock instrumentation and dynamics with jazz improvisation and classical harmonies and motifs. Ah, progressive rock, once upon a time: Soft Machine, Caravan, Matching Mole.... but let us not get sidetracked by nostalgic reverie. Krakatoa deliver 16 varied, bite-sized instrumental morsels featuring darting, wryly quirky themes (w/ just the right touch of cinematic melodrama) and dexterous and occasionally boisterous musicianship, put across with an impish sense of humor that fortunately never succumbs to the "gosh, aren’t we just so zany yet technically accomplished - aren’t you impressed with us?" attitude that plagues much contemporary prog and fusion. Krakatoa have that light touch mentioned earlier, while certainly maintaining a high level of tech-ability and playful yet punchy instrumental interplay. If you like the less-commercial European variant of prog (Hatfield & The North, Camel) and its American cousins (The Muffins, Thinking Plague), do get yourself to this latest Brooklyn-on-wry instrumental sandwich du jour.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Krakatoa
  • CD Title: We Are The Rowboats
  • Genre: Fusion
  • Year Released: 2003
  • Record Label: Cuneiform Records
  • Rating: Three Stars
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