"A Dream In Static"

By Professor Jocko

If you were to coin this album in a single phrase, the title alone would sum it up…what I mean is that the lengthy instrumentals and dissonant rhythmic patterns have you drifting into a subconscious state of mind and transcendental meditation. There is a message here, and I would venture to say that I cannot tell you what it is; the music is there, and the message you get from it is up to you and what you make of it. After listening to this album a few times, and formulating my review, I had to remind myself that these guys are musicians, not rock-stars. The orchestrated songs are comparable to classical masterpieces throughout history, but with the incorporation of modern progressive elements. This New England-based group of seasoned artists consists of Ben Shanbrom  on Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals, Frank Sacramone on the Grand Piano, Keyboards & Programming, Ryan Griffin on Bass Guitar and Jamie van Dyck on Electric and Acoustic Guitars. Complimented by several guest musicians and the Moscow Studio Symphony Orchestra.  One can only guess that they are nothing less than a cinematic virtuoso.  

To be perfectly honest with you, I have always had a fondness for instrumentals as the opening track on an LP. However, an 8 minute opener as seen with “The Closest I’ve Come” has you anticipating the next track as you patiently wait for vocals that never arrive. “Mob Mentality” is the following track and features Sevendust‘s Lajon Witherspoon which adds the necessary diversity to the song, yet still meanders somewhat aimlessly in the latter half at just short of a 10 minute track. The album title track, “A Dream In Static” seems to have some dynamic contrasts with flowing musical contributions from Daniel Thompson, but now has me wondering why a debut album relies heavily on a slew of various artists. Perhaps this may be more of an album that is geared towards the Super-group vibe, and not necessarily as a band trying to establish itself, then the variety may not be a primary concern.

As a vocalist myself, I tend to lean towards the songs that include vocals, in which the last track, “Contemplation of the Beautiful” contains the most of. This one seems to grow, and becomes more powerful as the lyrics seduce you into becoming part of the song. The natural flow of the song allows you to drift through its entirety with interest, where the abrupt interruptions of scorching lyrics add balance and contrast to the song. This album has the potential to be something more than just a series of songs; almost as if you could plug in your own ideas and thoughts to form your own version of a mental image of placing yourself inside the setting of the music. My interpretation is that this is a very hypnotizing, relaxing LP…something to get a massage to, perhaps.