Monday, December 24, 2012

Ouroboros by Naked Truth

Of all the new music I've purchased recently the CD I most impatiently waited for was Ouroboros, the second release from Naked Truth. Their first album, Shizaru, was so wonderfully unique I couldn't wait to hear their sophomore effort.

Naked Truth has called themselves "omni-genre." And while they like most artists probably just don't like to be labelled, I hear mostly progressive rock while lots of others label them as jazz. The group consists of Lorenzo Feliciati (bass), Pat Mastelotto (drums), Roy Powell (keyboards), and Graham Haynes (cornet).

I list Haynes last because as soon as people read "cornet" they think of jazz so I didn't want anyone to jump to that conclusion. I listed Feliciati and Mastelotto first because their playing, to my ears, drives the group's performance. But what's most appealing about Naked Truth is their playing as an ensemble is so strong, with no one performer stealing the spotlight. The title, Ouroboros, refers to a snake eating itself tail-first and represents a cyclic renewal. That can be heard in the performances that twist and weave around each other leaving a gapless continuum.

Take the first track, Dust, as a perfect example. Mastelotto's tight drumming drives this piece forward and is countered by Haynes' flowing cornet work. In between, Feliciati and Powell deliver distortion that highlights the overall tension. As the drumming and cornet fade, the guitar, bass and keyboards growl to life.

Orange, a down-tempo piece, starts out like a cross between ambience and traditional jazz featuring Haynes and Powell with Feliciati's bass popping and bursting through the melody. Despite its softer feel, Orange is alive with a throbbing pulse and a fullness of sound from the interaction of all the players.

One of my favorite tracks is In A Dead End With Joe with its heavier, buzzing guitars. This one has Mastelotto showcasing all his drumming skills with a syncopation that feels like he's juggling the rest of the quartet.

Naked Truth may be what I'm most excited about in music right now. To my ears it's a fresh, unique sound that's masterfully and richly performed. Feliciati's got a tiger (snake?) by its tail.

Track Listing
  1. Dust
  2. Dancing With The Demons of Reality
  3. Garden Ghosts
  4. Orange
  5. Rite of Nightly Passage
  6. Yang Ming Has Passed
  7. In A Dead End With Joe
  8. Neither I
You can read and hear more about Naked Truth at Rare Noise Records.

I received no compensation of any kind for this review.


RareNoiseRecords said...

Thank you Sir for your Kind and considerate comments!

John said...

You're very welcome. Keep releasing good music and I'll keep listening.