Friday, May 25, 2012
Ellis Ashbrook - Meridia
Filling the sounds of Frank Zappa and early Porcupine Tree with a vibe of the late ‘60s psychedelic sound of touching the prog elements with a bit of danger mixed with alternative and punk at the same time can be a risky choice because some of the genres would have drawn a line in the sand and see if they would accept it or not, with Ellis Ashbrook, they have taken the sounds of the three elements and take it to see where it would land on exactly at the right spot at the right moment.
The band already has two albums in the can and their new album released last year called, Meridia, is completely twisted. There’s a touch of funk, heavy rock, psychedelic elements that goes through the Zappa realm that would have made the master himself very happy with and coming with a sense of humor that would send a touch of enjoyment through the crowd and a way that this band would take the elements of prog and psychedelic music up a notch and creating some danger that would fill around the room and the sound of their music.
Cat Song, which has this ‘70s guitar rock groove that has the band into the realms of how the band pay tribute to Zappa with a touch that resembles the Apostrophe-era that shines almost a touch for Ashbrook to write a score for a Pam Grier film with a funkadelic soundtrack as Peripheral Declination sounds like something out of Yes sole self-titled debut album that has a touch of the guitar and bass resembling a bit of Peter Banks and Chris Squire that is almost a tribute to their heroes.
With the opening Accelerator that kicks the albums off with more of a garage space rock adventure, it goes on this amazing journey through the milky way that features a lot of guitar and bass lines including some moogy and organ solo work that makes it a fabulous ride that sends you to another dimension that you’ve never been to and making it a fun ride. There’s also some mellowing elements with a bit of the spookiness that you’ve never heard before on Climax and Unbreakable which has some jazzy classical thumping beats to it in a mighty roar and has a bit of a Baroque Rock sound.
They’re back again with the spacey music and sometimes in your face atmospheric music with another 6-minute rocker, Decelerator. Bottomfeeder, a haunting, dark piano melody with a militant drum feed comes in with a touch of the sessions from Pink Floyd’s second album A Saucerful of Secrets as the groovy jazz psych funk of No Please Don’t Watch builds into a moving dance as Slide goes into the tones of the Heavy Rock and Alternative sounds of the ‘70s and ‘90s with a dosage of Black Sabbath and Nirvana.
Psych uplifting finale, 22 is very touching because it shows that while Ellis Ashbrook has the psych and prog influence under their spell, there’s a bit of the jazz and a psych bossa nova sound they carry and that is a real wonder and closing the album off to close the curtain. I have listen to Meridia about three times already and overall, this is a must listen to album and adventure you’ll never forget.