At Bluesbunny we like variety in music and we are constantly surprised by speed at which our musical tastes can adapt. The subject of this review is "Brave New World" from Texas band Intodown and it revives something of a long forgotten genre - guitar driven prog rock.
Things start well enough with "Elevator". This song has a pleasing psychedelic feel to it and the guitar of Michael Clark neatly mixes the influences of Dave Gilmour and Dick Dale. There is even a bit of trumpet (by David Willingham) to keep the Bluesbunny ears interested for the 8 minutes plus running time. The title track "Intodown" is similarly atmospheric if more in a soundtrack kind of way. Our attention began to wander somewhat during "Fire" and by the time we got to "Mission" we had to check what track we were actually on. Now, there is nothing inherently wrong with 11 minute instrumental songs or meandering guitar solos (this Bluesbunny had Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" LP as a favourite right up until the first time that he heard the Clash) but there has to be a point to it all. By the time that the last track ("The Return") drifted out of the speakers, we were none the wiser.
Now this Michael Clark chap and his Intodown cohorts can certainly play but the problem with this album is that it seems self indulgent. There is a lot of musical talent on display but it does not really take us anywhere. Music is about communication when it comes down to it and it does not matter whether it is a three minute pop song or an 11 minute rock opus. All that matters is that you hold the listener's attention long enough to get the message of the song across. That, unfortunately, was an infrequent occurrence with this album. It is a big marketplace so there may well be people out there who will enjoy this album more than we did. Maybe it just needs a different frame of mind?