The other instrumental prog rock band that has been in my listening rotation over the last week or so is the Texas eclectic prog band Herd of Instinct. I have listened to their second release Conjure. The band’s self-titled first release was released in 2011 and was four years in the making. Flashback to 2007 – Wow- that was a long trip – the band 99 Names of God had disbanded after ten years on the Texas Music scene as an Art Rock band – yeah right?? How do you get beer drinking into that music! But I digress back to 2007 where drummer Jason Spralin and WARR Guitarist Mark Cook are trying to form a new band. Soon they joined forces with ex-Nervewerks guitarist Mike Davison and got down to work!! Four years later they produced that self titled album (hum about two times as long as the gestation period of the elephant) Anyway, critics praised the album and comparisons were made to King Crimson. The band’s music is drawn from a variety of influences including: multi-cultural music, literary clues, Horror and cinematic film scores, and obscure elements of Rock, Avant-garde, Electronic, Prog, and Psychedelic music. (Horror films and Psychedelic music may survive on the Texas Music scene, no wait – psychedelic music is that hippie music!)
The album whose music has been the soundtrack, while doing work around the house this week is the band’s sophomore album Conjure released in 2013 only two years after their first album!! Their getting better all the time…. (“What would you do, if I sang……stop oh, wandering mind!)
When the band plays live they are a trio, but when they are in the studio they are a Herd and on their first release members of the Herd included Dave Streett, Jerry Marotta (Peter Gabriel), Pat Mastelotto (King Crimson, XTC), Gayle Ellett (Djam Karet), Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree), and Markus Reuter (Tuner). Gayle Ellett of Djam Karet also provides keyboards on Conjure.
On Conjure the band wanted to create a more dynamic and lively sound, to accomplish this, no compression or limiting was used on the recording. While compression and limiting were absent on the recording, polyrhythmic WARR guitar and powerful drumming,and great guitar solos are not, There are plenty of all of those, plus those keys from Gayle If you are like me, then you will enjoy this album. And if you are like me and aren’t sure what a WARR guitar is you can check out the Chapman Stick like guitar here! See if you can pick out the WARR Guitar in the group’s picture below!!
Windhawk in his review of the album at ProgArchives writes:
If you have a taste for instrumental rock that resides within the more demanding parts of the progressive rock universe, Herd Of Instinct is a band that merits an inspection. Structurally complex material using electronic effects and metal inspired details in a framework defined by Frippian inspired guitar details, and I’d recommend this band to fans of early 80’s King Crimson and classic Djam Karet, especially those amongst them with a taste for artists such as Ozric Tentacles
So check out the Herd! As for me, I am going to listen to some of that Djam Karet and Ozric Tentacles!!!
Here’s the band performing “Brutality of Fact” from Conjure..…