Intra: self-titled (CD, 71:52); Shroom Productions -SP98006, 1998 P.O. Box 130475 Houston, TX 77219-0475, USA Phone: 415 327-6234 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com Cyberhome(s): INTRA webhome http://www.shroomangel.com Imagine the Yes album with a saxophone player injecting a jazzy feel and asking the keyboards to take a break for the first five songs. Replace Jon Anderson and find an ultra- theatrical lead vocalist doing his best White Witch/ Gong-inspired warbling screech-sing. Instrumental portions are pleasingly Yes-ish and enjoyable but vocals are just a tad too space- opera-pretentious and near-comic weird at times. I'd say the bass work leans more Finch then Yes but guitars are definitely Howe-ish. Perhaps a smidgen of early Wishbone Ash comes through in places. That was Intra's 1976 incarnation. Tracks 6-7 are circa 1984 and thankfully Mato Tomorowitz, Intra's driving force, creator and dreamer, added lead vocals to his rhythm guitar role. Keyboards are featured now but the sax and flute leave. Tomorowitz's voice is more than competent and a welcome relief from strained yelpings sprinkled throughout earlier tracks. He continues his vocal work on tracks 8-9 in Intra's 1990 days. I'd say Intra gained more of their own identity or uniqueness by 1984 and it held fast right into 1990. Track 9, "Ritual" begins with the theme from spaghetti-western flick The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly and descends into very bizarre Jade Warrior territory with lotsa in-your- face mean guitar lead breaks and fills. My favorite cut! Background melody and composition was Happy the Man meets King Crimson. Tracks 10-12 are live tracks from 1980. "Sea Bird" reminded me a lot of Nektar's Remember the Future. Experience that Samurai laidback groove on track 11, "The Projectionist". Prepare yourself for some Alfonso Johnson styled bass lead breaks. Intra outros in a storytelling mode on "Circle Kings" in a fine song that should really be redone, (someday), in studio format as it showed great potential even in its raw, rough-edged live presentation. It was a dreamy yet driving cut recalling Happy the Man and Genesis. Overall, a strong sampling of a '70s-born, progressive Ohio band "lost in the shuffle" but revived for all by Mr. Shroom. Thanks Richard for yet another interesting listen. And thanks Mato, for sharing. ~ John W. Patterson
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