MP3 Jonathan Segel/Hieronymus Firebrain - There
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13 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Psychedelic, ROCK: Progressive Rock
by Gary Wood
Fronted by ex-Camper Van Beethoven multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Segel, Hieronymus Firebrain are the same kind of crafty but ponderous, full-course feed that you wouls expect from a compulsive over-achiever, which is to say that you will find it either wonderful (it is) or too much to digest in one sitting. It is, actually, two separate, full-length CDs, which may be a bit intimidating in and of themselves. Like CVBeethoven, HFirebrain elephant-walk all over the stylistic savannah, treading lightly or thunderously as the mood takes them, but always retaining the common thread (whatever it is) that stitches coherence. Now, that may sound like so much journalistic prattle, but I think that anyone who was moved by CVB will have an idea of what I'm getting at. Maybe it's that violin. Anyway, the only band with wich to compare HF would be CVB, although Segel likes to cite Can and Richard Thompson as influences.
Of the two CDs, There is the one that rocks the raggediest, and, although it was recorded (mostly) live, it sounds to me like it was recorded carefully in a studio. If there was an audience, you can't hear it. What you can hear is an amaazing rapport and communication between musicians who sound like they can do anything, and who never run out of ideas while they're doing it. They even cover some Can song twice as if to say "...On the other hand...." There's a lot here to hear. One criticism might be that a more stripped down approach would be more mass-accessible, and, while that might fit into my busy schedual a mite better, I think I prefer to make time for Hieronymus Firebrain just the way they are.
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