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(47:24 / 10T Records)
TRACK LIST: 1.
Prolusion. Hailing from Columbia, South Carolina (USA), BOLT is an instrumental band with two albums to date. "Movement & Detail" is Bolt's sophomore release, though I have yet to hear "Circadian Rhythm", their debut.
Analysis. "Movement & Detail" begins eerily with The Devil's Paintbrush, which might well be a soundtrack for something a bit disturbing, full of distant wailing produced by guitar feedback. However, past the opening track there is a sense of motion, taking a flight through a continually changing audio landscape with Bolt's music, yet there is a repetitive structure to many of the compositions, which anchors them. I find myself feeling that the band is less interested in melody than texture. Truly, they seem to be much more interested in movement and detail, apropos of the title. Heyward Sims' guitar work is clean and crisp, in places sharp as a razor. Think of Stewart Copeland's playing on De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da by The Police to get an idea of a guitar sound, but then add in the atmospheric layers with plenty of electronic sounds. Variables has this kind of Police on steroids feel, though without the bouncy reggae that marked so much of the Police. There is a relentless quality to the album, an onward drive. Bill Elliot is to drums what Sims is to guitar. Throughout the album, the drums have a high degree of clarity, extremely clean. In a few places some metallic riffs appear, but it is only a little flavor thrown in, like on Invasion. Vendetta contains some aggressive moments, weaving back in some metal, but ending with some profanity laced answering machine messages, which criticize the band. Odd. Anaphase, which takes the third position, is probably my favorite track, with its buoyant sound, despite the electronic growlings. It continues a swirling of brief movements and was used for a time by a CGI studio as a soundtrack showcasing their capabilities, which kaleidoscopically tumbled images across the screen or morphed from one thing to another. It was a perfect match of sight and sound. The music is extremely well suited as an accompaniment for much movement. Kick ends the album joyfully, a bouncy romp, with occasional handclaps as added percussion.
Conclusion. Bolt's music is firmly planted in neo-prog, or perhaps it might even be called a post-prog style; it is definitely not your average, run of the mill prog, but then should any progressive music be run of the mill? I find it difficult to slap a label on Bolt. The music is clean, crisp and intricate. There is something of a techno quality to it, yet there are bits of punk and new wave sensibilities here or a metal riff there. This is not symphonic art rock, by any means. You will not find sweeping melodies or any keyboard work here. What you will find is music infused with much energy that would fit the soundtrack for much action or MTV speed scene cuts, or a good aerobic workout. I was trying to get a handle on how to describe the music when a word finally popped into my head - caffeine. This is audio caffeine.
KW: May 28, 2007
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