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Concentrick - Aluminum Lake

Released on Drag City, 8/28/07

The fourth release from local guitar legend Tim Green’s solo project, Concentrick, is a folk-inspired instrumental rock album for seventies purists and post-prog rockers alike. To say that it is lush would be an understatement. Aluminum Lake is dense.

Think: an experiment in the weights and measures of epic rock traditionalism combined with two parts Atari, two parts folk, one part eastern scale, and a dash of Mahler to keep things real. This collection of recordings was done over the past seven years at Green’s own Louder Studios where he was joined by a number of musicians to ensure every necessary gap was filled with the appropriate sound. And it is pretty righteous.

A little history on the man, the myth, the legend: Green popped into the public eye in the late 80s when he was playing guitar for the post-hardcore political party band, Nation of Ulysses. Upon it’s demise, Green moved to Olympia, Washington where he began recording some of the more influential bands coming from that area at the time (Slim Moon, Tiger Trap, and Mukilteo Fairies just to name a few); Louder Studios is born.

Green then relocated to San Francisco where he inserts the analog studio into his basement, and commences to rock peoples faces off with the project known to many as The Fucking Champs. Apparently, in addition to touring the planet with The Champs and recording many of the best bands in the Bay Area and beyond (Comets on Fire, Joanna Newsom, Melvins, and Six Organs of Admittance, to name a meager handful), Green has snuck yet another notch on ye olde belt. Enter Concentrick.

Green has released four other albums under the Concentrick title -- but none have been quite as thick, cohesive or comprehensive as Aluminum Lake. The album moves like an ocean, the sound ebbing and flowing, journeying into an exploration of tone and composition. From the eerie, spaced-out guitar in the title track, to the introduction of the ear rupturing metal meltdown midway through “White Bear”, this album is a driving force.

There is no denying the influences that are prevalent throughout Aluminum Lake, Nick Drake-like guitars echo through the first two tracks, “Divine Wind” could have easily been on Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti, and the eastern sounding string arrangements in “Transillumination” pay homage to psychedelic experimentation in rock which was popularized by The Beatles. There is also a pretty heavy dose of The Champs
in each track, and each of these things, combined with an entire childhood of Atari video gaming brings us one of the better instrumental progressive rock albums of our time. Take it in children.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars