Ironia

Picture of Ironia

A Granite Scale

Ironia - A Granite Scale ©2001 Digital Strategy
1. Chemical Moses
2. Underground Stealing
3. Song Of Parting
4. A Shepherd Of Eagles
5. Crash
6. Around The Bend
7. Rhino Racing
8. God's Song
9. Shackleton Preserves
10. Toe Jam
11. Life Is Hard
12. Ocean Of Love

Let me quote from this band's website: "Ironia is a hard-rock band that hails from the town of Ironia, New Jersey. Blending high-energy rock with progressive rock, pop, folk, metal, techno, and fusion, Ironia is a unique musical phenomenon."

Yeah, what they said.

This has been a really tough disc to review. The music never sits still long enough for me to get a good look at it, or to determine its scope. Improvisational is one word that comes to mind when listening to this collection of, um, improvised jam sessions. The feeling of the album is loose and subject to change without notice. Another word to describe the music would be unexpected, or better, unanticipated. The solos and experimental aspects of the music stray far from the canned norms of pop. You cannot anticipate the next direction change and there is no opportunity to settle into one particular beat for too long before you're off in another direction.

The lyrics are a lot of fun. Sometimes probing, sometimes tongue in cheek, always a cut above the standard schlock on the radio waves. There is the distinct impression that there are some inside jokes buried in the words and that the band is laughing at a joke that I don't quite get. The play is that of free artistry. One could say that the band is playing a form of abstract impressionism, giving you half formed images and not-quite-there glimpses of something. You have to meet this band halfway to grasp what they are doing, and even then it may elude you for several listens.

The bottom line is that this is a fun disc. The band obviously had fun producing it and it is meant to be a fun listen. If you try to work too hard to follow the music, you're going to miss the point. This is not metal. It is the heavier end of progressive rock, but it is pushing the envelope so far that it would be hard to categorize it. Let's just call it unanticipated and leave it at that. Wonderfully unanticipated.

Review by Matthew Braymiller

Review date: 01/2002

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