TVBC - "Gone"
(self-released 2002, TV109)
From Aural Innovations #22 (January 2003)
From St. Paul, Minnesota, TVBC is a powerhouse avant-prog hard rock trio that incorporates jazz and psychedelic influences that result in some absolutely blistering instrumentals. The music is raw and has a garage quality, but the musicianship is outstanding and the arrangements complex, somewhat in the way old MX-80 Sound used to be. Gone was recorded in 1994 with the original trio of Paul Metzger on guitar, Freddy Votel on drums and Pat Dzieweczynski on bass, though only released this past year. The band reformed in 2000 with new bassist Scott Evans.
"Gandhi", the opening track, starts off slowly and plods along until about the 5 minute mark when the pace picks up and things start to get more interesting. Metzger's guitar cranks out a Middle Eastern theme and the whole vibe is equal parts noise tinged prog rock and psychedelia. Things get quite frenzied as this 15 minute tune progresses with slowly phasing acidic drones embellishing the backdrop and culminating in a power rock explosion that conjured up images of punk belly dancers that I won't even try to describe (don't want to reveal to much about my imagination).
"Holiday/Monotony" is an ass kicking surf-punk metallic tune. Metzger is killer guitarist, soloing wildly though the resulting structure and arrangement of the music always takes precedence as opposed to mere shredding. "Snakefinger" is a tribute to the late great Snakefinger Lithman, one of the guitar world's truly unsung artists. "Magneto" is another monster chaos track with vocals in the RIO style of Dagmar Krause and Bob Drake. "Glamiff" and "Seven Eight" are two of the shortest but most blistering roller coaster ride tracks of the set. "Mahler" is the most sedate song of the set. And "Sepulchre", the album's other lengthy track, starts off sounding like a Black Sun Ensemble song, but soon launches into a trademark TVBC jam rocker that once again draws on psychedelic influences with Metzger kicking out some blistering anguished acidic licks on the guitar.
In summary, this is a mindblowing set of well crafted hard rock instrumentals which are just as raw and nasty as they are intellectual. And while I enjoyed the lengthier tracks in which the band takes the time to stretch out, I felt the shorter, more concise songs better showcase TVBC's compositional talents. (If this stuff is improvised I'll be even more impressed.) There are some vocals on a few songs but they are secondary to the music created by this talented trio. I'll be looking forward to hearing what the newly reformed lineup produces. Recommended.
For more information you can visit the TVBC web site at: http://www.tvbc.tv.
Email the band at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz