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Law by Cougar

This Madison, WI., quintet describes its music as "Emergency Rock" via a commingling of electro-acoustic tone poems engineered upon layered passages, blistering e-guitar crescendos and more. (Fans of Illinois-based "Tortoise," might enjoy some similarities here).

The music is often framed upon guitarists, Aaron Sleator and Dan Venne’s trance-like chord voicing as they sometimes prime the listener for the kill, due to cascading odd-metered rhythms and scorching riffs. Part of the band’s success resides within a nicely balanced fusion of quaintly melodic themes atop EFX treatments and cyclical, ostinato grooves. At times they crash and burn, where primary motifs generally serve as a foundation for climactic-ally-devised movements, tinged with hypnotic passages.

On the piece titled "Lifetime Ranger," they pursue laidback dreamscapes. Then with "Merit," they prompt notions of classic King Crimson as they spawn a blitzkrieg of thrashing rhythms and fuzz-drenched crunch chords. Ultimately, this unit seems bent upon carving out a signature methodology. And regardless of genre, a lot could be said these days for ensemble’s that possess a mark of distinction. They effectively counterbalance mood-evoking harmonic content with pulsating opuses, dappled with disparate elements -- all morphed into a stylistic string of musical events. But there’s an edginess to the musicians mode of attack, that thwarts any semblance of being soft or overly saccharine, namely during the quieter moments.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Cougar
  • CD Title: Law
  • Genre: Progressive
  • Year Released: 2006
  • Record Label: Layered Music
  • Rating: Four Stars
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