Chicago continues to thrive on numerous, and dare we say, cutting-edge musical fronts. For example, Algernon is a quintet that incorporates many genres, such as psycho-rock, fusion, jazz and ambient electronica. And where other units fail by doing too much sans any substance or cohesiveness, Algernon sports a winning formula via its idiosyncratic qualities The band transmits a pleasantly in-your-face line of attack as they fuse grungy and crunchy chord voicings with quirky deviations, polytonal treatments and other facets. It’s a program that offers a medley of contrasting factors, consisting of bustling rhythms, simple melodies and massive sonic assaults. Moreover, the majority of these works are designed with memorable hooks amid bone-crushing crescendos and odd-metered passages.
On "Everybody Stay Calm," multi-instrumentalist Dave Miller injects ethereal EFX in concert with vibist Katie Wiegman’s soft phrasings, but spiral towards a burgeoning attack, akin to an action-packed cinematic thriller. Nonetheless, variety is a key element as the musicians seamlessly morph an abundance of craftily engineered movements into sublime and harmonious, 70’s era progressive-rock choruses. They project a gigantic wall of sound with a strong sense of gravitational pull to complement pastoral interludes and torrid soloing vamps.
Algernon’s manifesto may signal an antidote to the ho hum and somewhat faceless jaunts witnessed by other ensembles that seem content with regurgitating the past sans anything noticeably new. This band surely aims it sights high, yet seldom fails to entertain. (A top-10 pick for 2010.... )