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Miniature Portraits

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Album Review

The debut 5ive Style album, released almost four years before Miniature Portraits, remains one of the first documents of Chicago's emerging post-rock scene as a community focused on actual musicianship — not exactly a priority with indie rock bands. During the subsequent period, 5ive Style members John Herndon, LeRoy Bach, and Jeremy Jacobsen focused on their full-time gigs (in Tortoise, Isotope 217, the Lonesome Organist, and others) and led the way for the transition from the shambling garage rock of much indie material to a focus on musicianship as well as grooves more tied to prog rock and jazz fusion. Just like its predecessor, Miniature Portraits is tied to polar opposites — Meters/JBs deep-groove funk and the angular indie guitar of Slint — but there are plenty of new directions to be heard. The marimbas and echo-chamber guitar shards on "Father Time" evoke the classic era of Jamaican dub, while Herndon drags out his Powerbook for several tracks that rely on a bit of experimental electronics. It may not be as much of a revelation compared to their debut, but the second 5ive Style album is a treat for any post-rock fan.


Formed: 1994

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s

Guitarist Bill Dolan, drummer John Herndon, bassist LeRoy Bach and keyboard player Jeremy Jacobsen formed the instrumental fusion/funk group 5ive Style. The group's self-titled debut appeared in 1995; following an extended break which allowed Herndon to return to his duties in Tortoise and Dolan the chance to...
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Miniature Portraits, 5ive Style
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