Brave New World
- Artist: Intodown
- Format: CD
- Release Date:12/18/2007
Please note: The only artist authorized website selling the full, unopened, unedited, non-promotional copy of the physical Brave New World CD is CD Baby. Buy Brave New World here and receive a cool, free Brave New World/intodown sticker, per request. _______________________________________________________________ What The Reviewers Are Saying: 'If you're looking for epic music where the psychedelic past of the 60's meets up with a dark futuristic industrial sound, that is dripping with great guitar work, then you need to get intodown's Brave New World.' The Music Freelancer 'They're pure progressive with roots reaching down to the beginnings of progressive - you can say they're a prog rock version of Miles Davis.' ReadJunk Magazine 'Moody and atmospheric enough for the Tool/Pink Floyd freaks but with enough stoner-friendly, sprawling arrangements for the Sleep crowd, Brave New World takes you down a very pleasant rabbit hole.' Mean Street Their sprawling sound is undefinable and their influences, though obviously present, are largely untraceable. Dullness is never a word used to describe intodown; their diversity and high level of ambition makes their sound ceaselessly exciting.' Obscure Sound '....this is an impressive instrumental album that fuses well the best elements of progressive jazz, Zappa-like guitar, and moody Pink Floyd-like stoner/prog rock.' ReadJunk Magazine 'The music found on Brave New World has a dark almost industrial sound that always is there lurking in the background while Clark's guitar playing keeps you mesmerized.' The Music Freelancer 'It is a blend of learned experience from the veteran musicianship of founding frontman Michael Clark. As the lead songwriter and guitarist, Clark is a one-man wrecking crew with a boatload of influences at his side ranging anywhere from surf-rock to classical. He cites Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis as individual influences, with Clark's impressive guitar proficiencies demonstrating it well.' Obscure Sound 'Michael Clark leads the psychedelic decent into the rabbit hole with a variety of drummers, bass players and multi instrumentalists. Brave New World is a skillfully executed instrumental rock album that reverberates below the radar of mainstream pop with Clark making exquisite us of power chords, riffs, and improvisation.' Skope Magazine 'There'll be no spark-flying wankarrific air guitar accompanying a down and still-digging earth-riven axeslinger. There is no axe, there is no slinger. Instead, this journey winds through a cloudy world where sound reverberates close against black, towering cliff faces. The nearby trickle of water is not enough to make a regular sound, only occasionally does it rise into the waking consciousness.' Blog Critics Magazine 'As Clark and his band of subterranean lurkers speak in musical tongues about the past, art and existentialism they may very well be the future of rock'n'roll' Skope Magazine 'A persona and a CD cover show an individual who's a cross between Live and Let Die's Baron Samedi voodoo man and The Invisible Man. Whatever face Clark wants to present, his guitar seems far more sincere in it's relationship with others. His play is a gift.' Blog Critics Magazine General Information: intodown is a band that has garnered descriptions along the lines of progressive, psychedelic, space, stoner, improvisational, groove and experimental rock. Often referred to by peers and fans as 'the '60's band from the future' because their sound fuses some of the best elements of the great bands of the late '60's time period, with a fresh, contemporary, modern style. "Brave New World" takes the listener on an intense, epic, psychedelic sonic voyage straight down the rabbit hole. The core of intodown is guitarist, composer, and producer Michael Clark, a man who understands the history of psychedelic guitar, and can both emulate and build upon the greats, helping to propel Clark to the status of one of the great rock guitarists who transcends all the usual musical definitions. A unique blend of progressive rock, blues, surf, '60's rock sensibilities, and totally out there psychedelia, Clark turns the abstract and dissonant into an incredible mind-altering journey that unfolds as each new track appears on the album. "Brave New World" is a 11-track collection of the musical universe that fills Clark's mind. His influences are diverse: Jimi Hendrix, the 13th Floor Elevators, Cream, Sonic Youth, Pink Floyd, Miles Davis, and Theolonius Monk. But, you don't so much hear the style of his influences - you feel the vibe. From aggressive to calm, spooky to surreal, haunting to perplexing, and most of all, subdued to controlled chaos, Intodown creates a world of sound, a musical journey not unlike a sonic wonderland for music fans and snobs alike, ensuring that the ride is smooth and comfortable, though never predictable or tame. ObscureSound Review of Brave New World Whether you are a musician or not, it is easy to understand how difficult it can be for up-and-coming artists to get the meager attention of a label. With our technological age providing ample opportunities for any willing individual to promote their music on their terms, there are so many different types of artists attempting to push their music to the top. Usually, to attain a fan base outside of their mothers, they have to decide which aspects of their music truly differentiates them from the hordes of fame-hungry individuals attempting similar methods of recognition. For the Texas-based collective intodown, such classifications are not that easy. If a record label executive were to ask them which "type" of music they play, I would not be surprised if the various members of intodown blurted out a variety of different coined genres. Stoner-rock! Surf-rock! Prog-rock! Psychedelica! As overwhelming as it may initially be, it is in this degree of stylistic indecisiveness that makes the music of intodown such an enjoyable listen. Their sprawling sound is undefinable and their influences, though obviously present, are largely untraceable. Dullness is never a word used to describe intodown; their diversity and high level of ambition makes their sound ceaselessly exciting. I have found that, in much of contemporary music, there seems to be a sense of stylistic restraint among younger artists. There are too many artists looking to keep a song under 4 minutes to make it "radio-friendly" or "widely accessible"; it is a quality that sadly stops bands from ever reaching their full potential. The beauty of intodown is that they hold nothing back. With their aforementioned diversity coming into play on each and every song on their new album, Brave New World, the band shows no hesitation to keep a song at an average length of 10 minutes. The style alone carries each and every song, making the duration enjoyably unintentional. Intodown have made their stylistic classification somewhat simplistic in that regard with a statement on their web site: "We are simply a medium of exchange." Whether you want to call them a jam band, post-rock experimentalists, or artsy prog-rockers is up to you. I have to agree with the band though in that their classification is irrelevant. It is a blend of learned experience from the veteran musicianship of founding frontman Michael Clark. As the lead songwriter and guitarist, Clark is a one-man wrecking crew with a boatload of influences at his side ranging anywhere from surf-rock to classical. He cites Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis as individual influences, with Clark's impressive guitar proficiencies demonstrating it well. On Brave New World, he is rounded out by three drummers, four bassists, and a trumpet player. So much for instrumental simplicity. In terms of accessible bands, I admit that intodown is certainly not one of them. That does not stop them from being a very enjoyable listen though; it just takes a bit of time to grow accustomed to the songs in their catalog. Keeping in tact their post-rock mentality, intodown's output is largely guitar-based and instrumental with occasional additions of vocals that are used to capitalize on the rhythm sections. Whereas vocals are conventionally added to expand upon or create a melody, intodown's focus on rhythm is an innovative change of heart that often works for the better. In the explosive "Elevator", leading man Michael Clark delivers a set of mumbling vocals that correspond to the gruesomely dark array of guitars nearly perfectly. The entire song is epic in an atmospherically dark sense, bringing together Clark's impressive guitar skills with David Willingham's excellently implemented trumpets as the song never once comes to a halt. It merely serves as an introduction though, as the instrumental force that the song conveys exposes a raw sense of power that many amateur post-rock bands have not even come close to competing with. Appropriately enough, the name and subtly placed lyrics in "Elevator" derive from Clark's fondness of the cult psychedelic-rock group, the 13th Floor Elevators. Willingham's use of trumpets makes "Elevator" sound magnificently dark, as if this so-called elevator is traveling in a downward spiral to the depths of hell. As gruesome as that may sound, I find it to be extraordinary impressive. Usually, these days, bands that are classified as "dark" are "emo" or metal groups snarling and roaring, respectively, over the repetitive pattern of three chords. Instead, intodown follows the steps of post-punk greats like Joy Division and Echo & the Bunnymen in crafting a sound that is genuinely "dark" in a supremely talented form. Whether it be the large doses of reverb or the sheer guitar-based power that Clark delivers in seamless form, it is an ironic opener for an album whose title reaps from Aldous Huxley's futuristic intentions, primarily because intodown is a fusion of Clark's past influences. Keep in mind though, with songwriters like Clark continuing to embrace numerous musical decades in such widespread form, such influences will never be considered outdated. Clark describes intodown's band name as a "state of mind [and] a feeling". With the band's sound in mind, their name is entirely suitable. ""Down" is sort of that mind state that is below the radar," he says, "Somewhere melancholy, pensive; it is where the mystery lives." intodown's musical output is reflective of such atmospheric emotions, with tracks like "Revolution" and "Fire" living up to their volatile namesakes by presenting a fury of rampantly executed guitar solos aided by a fastidious rhythm section. This intensified form of chaos is perfectly executed, and it helps that A Brave New World constantly shifts in tone and emotional viscosity. The 12-minute "Nostradamous" is so fantastic in instrumental power and emotional delivery that we can fully forgive the misspelling of the prophesier's name. While occasional moments on A Brave New World seem too forced in attempting to expose solely Clark's guitar skills, the album is definitely recommended for fans of epically instrumental post-rock. My only wish for intodown is that they expand on additional instruments on their next release. The use of a trumpet in "Elevator" makes it the album's best song for good reason. The majority of A Brave New World sounds neatly improvised and those who enjoy such alternatively placed post-rock methods should certainly give intodown's latest a chance. While Clark's use of guitar is skillful enough to nearly carry the album on it's own, intodown's potential allows for even more resounding atmospheric effects if they open up their instrumental horizons a bit. Either way, whether they capitalize on such opportunities or not, intodown are certainly an act to look out for. Review written by Mike Mineo BlogCritics Magazine Review of Brave New World In a world increasingly grown malnourished on less meaningful words, a break from the earnest mediocrity is welcome. So, we have Intodown's Brave New World, almost exclusively an instrumentalist playground for sky-bound wonder, with a modern, self-disciplined kick. Fundamentally Brave New World comes across as a solo performance, but a roving, revolving band of players back up guitarist Michael Clark. Clark has played professionally since the late 1960s and hitches himself to the psychedelic rock wagon as his preferred oeuvre, though the genre label seems welcomingly meaningless today. This World spins in it's own gravity and creates new mental life. A persona and a CD cover show an individual who's a cross between Live and Let Die's Baron Samedi voodoo man and The Invisible Man. Whatever face Clark wants to present, his guitar seems far more sincere in it's relationship with others. His play is a gift. There'll be no spark-flying wankarrific air guitar accompanying a down and still-digging earth-riven axeslinger. There is no axe, there is no slinger. Instead, this journey winds through a cloudy world where sound reverberates close against black, towering cliff faces. The nearby trickle of water is not enough to make a regular sound, only occasionally does it rise into the waking consciousness. And throughout, as a fog, travelers breathe in extended note-laden air. A smattering ... Gary Moore ... of the history of ... Jeff Healey ... white-boy blues guitar ... acoustic Neil Young ... seems to ... Queensryche ... unfold ... Mark Knopfler ... throughout the course of the album. The lift of 'Elevator' - with a beginning riff that could provide the undercurrent to the slow bridge of any nu metal pounding - is the first step. Mike Gage and especially David Willingham's trumpet slip into gear and engage here like nowhere else on this album. Brave New World brings everything but depression into it's orbit. This is not a Blues planet. The first hint of what this 53-minute collection is trying to evoke comes in the middle of the third song, 'Fire,' in the form of a quiet, almost mumbled reading of Robert Frost's 'Fire and Ice': Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I've tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, ?I think I know enough of hate? To say that for destruction ice ?Is also great And would suffice. That is to say, though the album might have a tour de force where revolution (1 & 2), passion and fire heat a molten core, we listeners are a part of a quiet revolution. Intodown seems to pull us through the urban part of of this new world, but ends on a shortened jingly twang as if opening us onto the wheat or ice plains of middle America or Siberia. 'Fire,' 'V,' and 'Revolution' are all stages where none seek to answer questions, only question more. Through these ears of mine, from 'Message Understood' through 'The Mission,' and 'Revolution 2' are difficult times of action bringing us to a slowed journey that, if not ended, at least stops for a while with solutions to juggle. 'Voice of the Past,' 'Nostradamus,' and 'The Return' create the period for reflection of what has just passed, what has been accomplished, and what still lies ahead to be done. The tunes are overall longer on the average. They require a deeper commitment, more than a blinded glance into the shadows. Brave New World, far from the sardonic twist attached to the concept these days, successfully welcomes the listener to trust that they will be on firm ground without disappointment ahead. Let's just say, as Clark hopes we might, that this belongs in the small, 'good shit' corner of the music store. Following the journey here, even if does not lead to your destination, might be enough to propel the thoughtful - or the mass opiate avoiding - listener to their own lunar satellite. Review written by Temple Stark.
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