By Dark Starr

I really like Stick Men. Sometimes their music can be hard to describe, though. It’s never hard to take. If you dig Stick playing, you really need to pick this up. The Chapman Stick is a unique instrument that hasn't really been explored much on disc....unless it's by these guys. They push it to its limits but always in the context of a good song. Here we get tracks as diverse as the opener "Nude Ascending Staircase", which is heavy, distorted, and funky, and the more mainstream and accessible "Crack In the Sky", which has such a sultry groove, it winds up being my favorite cut on the album.

 It should be no surprise that it sounds a lot like King Crimson. That's most evident on the rather exotic sounding "Hide The Trees" and the very hard-hitting "Horatio". The album ends with the epic cut "Whale Watch", where everybody is really put through their paces and is reminiscent of both the heavier and more ambient parts of King Crimson. Despite the Crimson references, the Stickmen totally carve out their own territory on "Deep".  It’s really a captivating disc that covers some great territory.