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Reviews > Shows

Published: 2002/04/10
by Dan Greenhaus

Ownership of the Head, Whisky Bar, Hoboken- 4/5

Since I started writing for this and other sites, I've received dozens of
requests to see smaller bands. It’s plainly obvious that I’m invited, not
because of my sense of humor, but rather because of ulterior motives,
motives which lead me to an infrequent review rate. However, Ownership
of the Head, hailing from Ithaca, is a different story. They never
contacted me, instead a friend of mine saw the band and said it was
definitely worth checking out, and so we did, as I’ve been meaning to get to
a couple of smaller shows. A good portion of my NYC show going friends made
our way over to Hoboken via the PATH train to check them out on the word of
our friend. We enjoyed eight dollar bucks of Yuengling, a beer that simply
cannot be found anywhere in New York City. Odd, considering it boasts being
made in America’s oldest brewery. This whole night, of course, is the
beauty of live music and represents a microcosm of the greater community to
which we all try to be a viable part of.

Ownership of the Head, if nothing else, is different. They are not your
typical "jamband". In fact, I don’t think they would fit any of the
criteria, if there are any, of a jamband. But rather, they are something
different. Not quite hard rock, not quite jazz, not quite "jam". If I had
to narrow it down for comparison, I’d say they are an interesting/twisted
combination of Radiohead and Oysterhead [Editor’s note: "Head" music
all three] with a tinge of Yes thrown in for good measure. The long lost art of Progressive Rock returns. Of course, it
would be impossible to be a successful Prog Rock band without a Prog Rock
guitarist (see Steve Howe, Robert Fripp). Ownership’s version is Ben
Bassett. On songs like "Traveler", his effects-laden guitar work was front
and center, displaying some impressive chops, but some tasteful melodies as
well. While his rhythm playing was very steady, his lead guitar lines left
something to be desired, however it was nothing that cant be fixed. "On the
Scene", which was the band’s first of two encores, showcased Ben Disbury’s
very impressive bass playing. The song wound down into a bass solo, which
Ben took very far out, abandoning the melody of the song, and losing the
crowd in the process. However, I was drawn into it as I’m
always impressed by "slapping". And throughout the whole show, Jeremy
Fogel’s drumming remained steady, despite the odd time signatures (ala Tool)
a good portion of the band’s songs are in.

In observance of the Jewish holiday of Passover, I’ve been eating matzoth for
a full week now and I’m quite tired of it, and its time for something else.
The weird chord progressions, the funky time signatures and the inventive
drumming provided my friends and I with some music we haven’t heard in a
while. Ownership of the Head proved to be my musical Anti-Matzoth, at least
for one night.

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