Mahogany Frog – Senna (Moonjune)
The progressive-electro-rock quartet’s incredibly accomplished talent should make for unlistenable, pretentious musical masturbation (see Dream Theatre), but somehow, despite the prog, the Frog are incredibly listenable and enjoyable. This is truer in the grooves of their new LP, Senna, than ever before.
The atmospheres are sonically bounding, the instrumentation tight as always and the compositions weave the perfect balance of Rick Wakeman synths and organs atop Peter Gabriel-era-Genesis, drenched in the gritty sweat of Nick Cave then filtered through the sexy oscillators of French electronic duo Air … in space.
Perhaps the most exciting development of the band’s sixth full length is the introduction of sequencers, contemporary glitch-beats and vintage drum machines courtesy of a new drummer, electronic performance artist Andy Rudolph. The electro-experimentalism with a dose of kraut-rock has strangely made Senna more palatable to the average ear. Perhaps its biggest strength lies in making instrumental rock without trying to be clever with time signatures, but rather creating varied environments with texture and contrast in sound– more Bauhaus sculpture than Jackson Pollock.
The biggest problem with any of Mahogany Frog’s records is that nasty ‘prog- rock’ term scaring away anyone who has had the misfortune of suffering the self- aggrandizing-instrumental-stool-water of Yngwie Malmsteen and co.