CD REVIEW: Frank Horvat Band - I Can See You
By Cyrus Rhodes - 12/30/2013 - 12:06 PM EST
Artist: Frank Horvat Band
Album: I Can See You
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Electronica, drum'n'bass, trip-hop and trance
Sounds Like: Art of Noise, DeepForest, Prodigy, Cocteau Twins
Technical Grade: 7/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 6/10
Commercial Value: 7/10
Overall Talent Level: 7/10
Songwriting Skills: 7/10
Performance Skill: 7/10
Best Songs: As Powder Falls, Sun and Rain
Weakness: Winded Songs, Excessive Musical Meandering, Incorrect Release Date, Repetitive and overly synthetic
Formed in 2013 by Canadian composer/pianist the Frank Horvat Band’s uncreative name hides a wildly creative sound and a roster of ultra talented musicians. An indie art rock band with an electronic edge, they create a textured atmospheric sound that envelops you with the sweet and soaring voice of Felicity Williams. pioneering a new post-Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Bjork sound, TFHB is pop, poetry and modern expression in a beautifully pained existence. Their music takes you through a journey of all encompassing sounds from soft ambiance to aggressive repetition. This latest effort called “I Can See You” Was released in 2014?
The CD gently lifts off the ground with ‘As Powder Falls” an intoxicating ambient intro piece that serves up industrial-type rhythms, with pulsating moog bass painted against a colorful canvass of music & sound that comes at you from every which direction. Track 2 “Waiting – in Three Chords” presents a kaleidoscope of soothing sound featuring dynamic rhythms, & vivid melody that that flows and ebb its way through fruition. By track 2 you realize The Frank Horvat Band may be on to something here. Track 3 “Was My Time Worth It” shifts gears a bit with driving rock rhythm, pulsating moog vibe, against sinister yet mesmerizing vocals and hypnotic vocal with walls of sound that are infectious and delicious. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear so many elements of Alternative Rock, Ambient, Techno, Chill, Dub, Electronic to House rhythms painted against a clever canvass of Ambient sound effects. You will also notice bass, piano, guitar, sporadic percussion, lush layers musical instrumentation layered everywhere from low end beats & rhythms, to pulsating moog and bass segments, to ambient synthesizer, organ and keyboard accents layered along the way. You will also notice piano, percussive accents, solo guitar to subtle voice sampling layered in the music. Vocals from Felicity Williams showcase a honey coated vocal instrument that is peaceful and unobtrusive. The songs themselves are extremely unique, highly original, and in itself a brilliantly clever. The soundscapes are interesting, infectious, and hypnotic. The grooves and rhythms are thick, the ambient accents are well placed and flow and ebb extremely well song for song. The CD has some truly impressive moments on it showcasing an impressive songwriting craft. From melodic “Inspired by the One I Love,” to trippy “Sun and Rain” to methodical “The Hurting Game” to invigorating ”John’s Suggestion” there’s something on this CD has something for just about everyone. It’s definitely a dynamic & progressive musical statement that offers a lot of musical variety and vivid sound imagery.
Al songs over 5 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. The CD release date (2014) is incorrect. Many peaces have excessive intros, outros and musical meandering throughout. 3 minutes into some songs I was begging for a new segment to kick in. As a result many pieces tend to sound a bit repetitive overall and overly synthetic/sonic/electronic. More instrumentation, including live/acoustical segments might help mix things up a bit. Things like Acoustic guitar. strings, Cello, Horns, sonic Trumpet. I’m not crazy about the 2 singer line-up either.
Overall this release from Frank Horvat Band is quite amazing. Make no bones about it – this CD took some time to craft to piece together. Equally as impressive are the hypnotic dance grooves, low end rhythms and beats that come with the territory. This will also appeal to those who enjoy Techno, Ambient Jazz, House-type music. Finally there are even elements of ambient, chill-out and Alternative Rock making Frank Horvat Band is sort of a triple threat musically. The CD works best for those who want musical ambiance to fill their sonic space. I found the listening experience quite refreshing, highly original and unique. It fills the space well. It flows extremely well song for song and note for note.
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