Collective Reverie – Brothers of Max Catharsis
Reviewing Collective Reverie is frustrating task. Just when you think
have the Seattle instrumental trio pinned down, it throws your theory off
The majority of the disc – all of it is instrumental in the
format – relies on jazz-like devices of stating a theme and then wandering
from it in way the group mind sees fit. Drummer Jay Jaskot certainly plays
with a jazz sensibility; playing as lightly as air on certain tunes and not
afraid to carry the rhythm on a cymbal. Guitarist Joe Messer and bassist
Ryan Farris approach improvisation as the goal to each cut. Basic structure
essentially only exists for them to abandon it. The closing title track is
nearly 18 minutes long and is essentially a space jam that is impossible to
deconstruct into any conventional song format.
The Brothers of Max Catharsis
are firmly influenced by the freedom that is inherent to post-war jazz but
also the rock devices employed by the Grateful Dead and their ilk.
Then how do you explain "Palatial Sound," a song so finely constructed (and
eerily close to the Dead's "Fire On the Mountain") that you question whether
this is the same band at the halfway point of the disc? Maybe you don't.
The trio occasionally roams close to prog-rock territory but deftly – and
thankfully – avoids falling too far into that bag (although song titles like
"Land of Brotherhood" and "Call of the Secret" may have potential buyers a
bit frightened). Likewise, a few of the songs lack much of an identity: You
might be surprised that three songs have lapsed if you're not paying
attention to the track display.
As a whole, "Collective Reverie" displays a tight unit on a quest.
Thankfully, they have the instrumental chops to embark on such a journey.