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Dancing on a'A

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Album Review

Three years passed between the releases of Pyroclastics and Dancing on A'A. During that period, founding member Martin Swope left the band and was replaced by guitarist Michael Bierylo, leaving keyboardists Erik Lindgren and Rick Scott as the only remaining original members of the group. Bierylo adds a certain depth to the band's sound; on "A Band of Deborahs (Not Debbies)," his rockabilly-derived guitar part brings a more rounded, bass-y dimension. Saxophonist Ken Field plays flute for the first time on the title track, which also makes for a slightly startling sonic departure. There's a nice tribute to the band's other missing charter member, keyboardist Roger Miller, in the form of a version of Miller's rather apocalyptic "Swamp." And, these guys being who they are, they just can't resist a slightly twisted take on pop culture. In the past that urge has been expressed in arrangements of theme songs from children's TV shows (Rocky & Bullwinkle and The Simpsons). This time out it's an almost-straight rendition of "Peter Gunn." This album doesn't quite hit the spot the way Faultline did, but it's certainly worth hearing.

Biography

Formed: 1980 in Boston, MA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Formed in 1980, Birdsongs of the Mesozoic play a unique mix of rock, punk, classical, minimalism, and free-form music, with occasional forays into even more unexpected directions, including spoken word performance and African-American spirituals. The group's diverse instrumentation has included piano, synthesizers, guitar, saxophones, flutes, and electronic and acoustic percussion. Birdsongs began as a side project by Roger Miller and Martin Swope, who were members of the Boston band Mission of Burma....
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Dancing on a'A, Birdsongs of the Mesozoic
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