CD REVIEW: Trrut Table - This is not a Casino
By: Cyrus Rhodes
Artist/Band: Truth Table
Album: This is Not a Casino
Ambient Rock, Alternative Rock, Ambient Pop
Weakness: Long song lengths; Somewhat repetitive catalogue
Truth Table's 2012 debut. This album introduces the Truth Table sound, defined by distinctly emotional vocal performances and intricate electric guitar playing layered over a seamless rock/funk/jazz rhythm section. Under the direction of producer Brian Johnston are the project's accomplished performers, including dynamic vocalist Mike Fries (WBLI Long Island Idol Contest Winner, 2007), drummer Dennis Leeflang (Lita Ford, Bumblefoot), and bassist Chris Schropfer.
The CD kicks things off with Track 1 “The Most Dangerous Game’ a theatrical prelude of sorts that’s serves up methodical musical ambience and impressive melody that leads you head first into Track 2 “Animated” with its driven guitar textures, panted against dynamic musical flow, a grand slam chorus and impressive culmination of guitar, voice and rhythm. Track 3 “Vindictive” serves up a dynamic yet heartfelt vocal delivery, via aggressive rhythm section, thought provoking lyrical content that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. As the CD quickly unfolds I can hear influences ranging from Radiohead, Chevelle and Incubus. The music has everything you would expect from a dynamic Alternative/Progressive Rock CD, but also touches straight up Ambient /Rock that’s quite dynamic and melodic. The style of the music is highly original and refuses to be pinned down the first listen. The vocals from Fries are impressive, compelling and push the emotional envelope and imagination. The guitar ambience is very melodic and dynamic and the musical flow and ebb is highly creative. The overall vocal style works extremely well with the confine of this progressive rock catalogue and the intensity and emotions is off the charts. What I like most about the music is its sheer rock solid consistency note for note and song for song. By track 5 the CD hits solid stride dishing out many impressive songs in a row. Like a heavyweight boxer the songs keep coming at you one after the other - with no sign of letting up. From striking “Dialogues and Chances” to melodic “Tonal Dianetics” to grooving “Truck” to upbeat “Until I Drive” to rocking Ricochet” this CD pretty much has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 13 “A Hundred Year Frost” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.
The only weaknesses here are that all songs are over 3.5 minutes and tend to drag you to the finish line, and although strong, overall the CD is somewhat guilty of sounding a bit repetitive track to track.
This latest release from Truth Table is a strong and consistent musical statement from start to finish. Its strength – the strong song for song consistency, progressive dynamics and strong melodic structure that keeps coming at you. The music is progressive, unpredictable, and highly original.
Cyrus Rhodes edited by Laurena Marrone