Chicago's Algernon, the brainchild of guitarist Dave Miller,
debuted with Charlie Changed His Mind (2004).
A new line-up consisting of Miller,
guitarist Toby Summerfield, vibraphonist Katie Wiegman,
bassist Tom Perona and drummer Cory Healey,
recorded Familiar Espionage (2007).
Ghost Surveillance (Cuneiform, 2010) has little in common with the
convoluted and brainy structures of post-rock. Its instrumental pieces
are elegant and manicured.
The fluid instrumental The Briefing manages to wed
Police (uplifting soul-jazz) and
Modern Lovers (rude garage-rock).
The Caribbean-tinged frenzy of Broken Lady turns into a gospel-like
is a serious version of
Frank Zappa's orchestral nonsense-rock.
Everybody Stay Calm is the most original piece here, a concerto of
subaquatic vibraphone notes that turns into a space jam.
Unfortunately, the eight-minute Operative Vs Opposition
and the eleven-minute Debrief And Defect (which would theoretically
be the centerpieces) do not amount to much: they aimlessly change course
all the time without delivering any major surprise.
The dissonant and chaotic hard-rock surge of Objective Compromised is
interesting for a few seconds but fails to exploit its potential.
Miller also played in
Rebel Souls, Zing, Blink and New Fracture Quartet.
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