I've never been able to figure out why the words 'pomp' and 'bombast' have been so indexterously applied to progrock and progmetal, and in seemingly positivistic terms. Then, of course, there's the grossly abused 'pretentious'. Alas, so many of my "fellow" crits seem hopelessly illiterate even when they mean well. All three terms, in truth, are pejorative. 'Bombast' includes speciousness, 'pomp' is evidence of bourgeois artifice, and 'pretense' is, well, pretense. That last one hasn't been applied to Brontosaurus, but the first two have, and they're inappropriate, ridiculously so, and have remained thus almost every time they've been infelicitously serviced anywhere...except in cases like Barry Manilow, Helen Reddy, and Night Ranger, who unfortunately embody the terms with gusto.
That out of the damned way, Cold Comes to Claim is worthy of the glowing reviews it's slowly getting, the disc an amalgamation of progrock, cabaret, rock, and the kinda sorta transition The Move made in their classic Shazam release, a shift in the group's direction that blew my mind when I first heard it and signaled the ensemble's eventual morph to Electric Light Orchestra. Cold isn't as thick or classically set as Shazam, but it does exhibit many of the same mutations—more slowly laid, less intense, but still arresting, as though tilting towards the Kinks' equally classic Arthur or Village Green cut with brainstunned molasses samples of Mars Volta, the Zombies' Odyssey serving as a side dish.
Architecture is what I'm referring to, and pensive attention to futuristic modes predominates in avant-gardisms brought closer to the ground (ironic, then, that the cover shot is of a trashed piano in a ruined cathedral)...yet as delicate as it is thunderous. I'm guessing Remy Zero, Tortoise (the latter-day gents, not the old prog band), God Lives Underwater, and other crews figure into this group's circle of influences, but so does Beethoven, dark Broadway, and Kurt Weill. While Mike Keneally and others are going the art damage route, Brontosaurus is 180 degrees opposite, pretty daring, and possessed of unique temperament. One can only imagine what will occur when they beef up the instrumentation and show us what they're REALLY made of. I await the day, as this debut from a consortium of lads without the funds to underwrite what that vision truly is could hardly be more promising.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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