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Human Condition

Event - Human Condition ©2001 InsideOut Music
1. Drug Of Choice
2. New Chemicals
3. Blind
4. The Director
5. Faces
6. Twisted Game
7. Insensitive
8. Human Condition
9. Coincidental Existence
10. Stop Complaining
11. Indecision

Already displaying tremendous creativity and chops on what is only their second album, New England's Event is one of the few truly progessive and inventive bands I've heard in quite some time. Their unusual, herky-jerky springy sound reminds me slightly of King Crimson, but only peripherally. For the most part, the stock comparisons to other bands fail because at the end of the day, Event is their own festival.

Rather than just play standard power or wankery metal riffs with proof that their guitarist payed attention to his scales in guitar tech school, Event creates a collage of off kilter rhythms, sounds and jumpy rhythm section tricks to create a very movement heavy sonic approach. The guitar riffs are like kangaroo jumps and spring around, bouncing from this side to that. In fact, terms such as "boingy-boingy" could easily be used to describe Event, although you might want to make sure your audience is comfortable with such terminology. The vocals are a midrange that never attempts to try too much and that is a huge plus. Occasionally the lyrics get a bit too much into finger-pointing at the behavior of others, but perhaps that's just cathartic in the long run. The band also throws in a healthy amount of sound effects and weird synth programming bits to add more stucco edged texture to the music. At the end of the day, you get a record that is challenging but also still quite accessible to anyone who has a bent towards edgy, oddball music and completely enjoyable as a whole.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 04/2001

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Scratching At The Surface

Event - Scratching At The Surface ©2003 InsideOut Music
1. Make Your Way
2. Under My Skin
3. Someone
4. One Simple Fall
5. Live Life Love Breed
6. Scratching At The Surface
7. Won't Come Loose
8. Siren
9. Into The Fray
10. All Too Real
11. It Makes Me...me
12. Pleasure In The Pain
13. Too Much

While I enjoyed Event's second album, Human Condition, their follow-up, Scratching the Surface, has left me quite out in the cold. Perhaps this is an instance of a band thinking too much about their music rather than just letting it naturally flow from them. Every note on this album sounds calculated and pondered over rather than a result of natural expression.

Event's sound is an unusual one, particularly in context of their record label. The band uses a wide variety of different guitar textures, rhythm approaches and left field thinking to come up with something that is quirky and unusual. But where this avenue of playing worked for me on Human Condition, it places me outside of the music box wondering what exactly I'm missing. The entire album is a lengthy experience of constantly feeling like you're standing outside the sphere of the band's creation, unable to penetrate it. I've listened to this album many times in a variety of settings and never once have I found a common point where I could get involved in the musical experience. At all times I felt like a disinterested observer. The only thing I can think of is that the band spent a lot of time contemplating how to continue their strange approach and often, too much thought can interfere with the creative process.

I'll give props to Event for at least continuing their attempts at progressive rock. The mere fact they aren't rehashing whatever 70s bands they like makes me like them. I just hope their next release is a little more listener accessible.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 03/2004

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