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intothepresencecover.jpgInto the Presence
Razor & Tie

It is really difficult for me to NOT like records. Artists and their teams put so much time and effort into the art of making an album that it is easy to fall in love with the music. As for Tim Alexander (Primus, A Perfect Circle) and Luis Carlos Maldonado’s new project, Into the Presence– their attempt did not grab me.

Alexander F. Remington at The Washington Post called their self-titled album, “superlative progressive rock and one of the best rock albums of the year.” “Progressive”- I hate that term. What does that mean anymore? There is “progressive rock,” as in the genre that budded from the late ‘60s, but according to the prog-rock gods, ITP does not fit that definition. (I hate defining genres too.) It is also used in context of innovation, but it should be a given that all good music is supposed to be perpetually evolving, adventurous…progressive. It is the silly magic word bands use to convince their fans (and themselves) that their music is genuine and forward thinking. The truth is, only a handful of acts today are truly progressive.

This is not to say that their music is a load of crap. In fact, I do enjoy the chorus of “Broken Words” and the stop-time groove of “The Garden.” Alexander’s drumming is solid as usual. Maldonado also has a killer voice, but we’ve heard it all before.

They pride themselves on having recorded the whole album on tape instead of going digital. This seems to be a selling point of the album. Only the gear heads care about that kind of stuff. Most people under 24 don’t even know what a tape machine looks like anymore. So as much as I find distaste for this album, I still appreciated their musical efforts…I just wasn’t in love.

–Kateri Lirio