Gravity Tree — Life or Dessert?
((Not on label) no#, 2000, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2000-10-01
A complete surprise out of left field, Gravity Tree is the duo of Linc (lead vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, basses) and Alan Nu (vocals, drums, percussion, and synthesizers), playing together since the 80s, based in the SF bay area. Their very full sound is, of course, based around guitars, working in a song-oriented progressive rock vein, rich with harmonies and melodic hooks but steering far clear of anything that could be considered commercial. Word has it that the duo does it all live – Linc with a customized twin-neck bass / guitar and Nu with keyboard and synth triggers on his kit, and have been performing live this way for years. Their sound is a very original one, not easy to pin down with a few common comparisons, though certainly some King Crimson influences are evident (further reinforced by Linc’s occasional Wetton-like vocals), as well as Rush. But none of these influences affects the strong melodic sensibility that pervade each of the disc’s 12 cuts; A more obscure, but accurate reference might be Canadian band Terraced Garden, although when Gravity Tree gets down to business it’s a much heavier attack, with snarly distorted guitars and a brutal bottom end, driven by Nu’s superb and often complex drumwork. Plenty of highlights: “Harmonic Indulgence” with a tricky two-part vocal refrain and angular rhythmic pattern, with a center solo section recalling guitarists from the ECM stable; the title track with its powerful refrain of symphonic fusion; and the closer, “Three’s Two,” opening with a brilliant acoustic guitar solo under a repeating electric structure. Much to recommend herein.
Related artist(s): Gravity Tree
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more