� � TONY MARSH - STEVE FRANKLIN - TIME CROWTHER - "Eclectic Earwig Reviews Music and More for You!" � � � � � �
prog rock, jazz fusion, jazz rock, jazz, pysch/trance, space, electronic, ambient, essentially eclectic excellence

Eclectic Earwig Reviews

Tony Marsh/Steve Franklin/Tim Crowther - Shell of

A British trio of drums, keyboards, and guitar/guitar synth
respectively, Marsh, Franklin, and Crowther have extensive
resumes of jazz and improvised rock work.  Shell of
Certainty is their first CD together, and all tracks were
improvised and recorded live with no overdubs.

These improvisations are sonically and thematically chaotic and
scattered, loosely in the vein of King Crimson's live improvs
in 73-74.  Melodic fragments are jumbled; chordal features are
short and clipped.  The jazz influence is most prominent
sonically, but not compositionally, as the structures are more

Marsh's drumming has a light jazz flavor with subtle cymbal
work.  Franklin uses crunchy analog synth sounds and clean
piano, among other textures, to good effect.  Crowther's guitar
sounds also range widely, including a smooth fusion sound like
a cross between Allan Holdsworth and Scott Henderson.  The
musicians interact quite well, developing improvised themes and
directions that remain engaging as they build.

Improvised rock is difficult to listen to, absorb, and most of
all, judge, especially in a short time frame, instead requiring
repeated listening and reflection.  The highest compliment
should be that a listener is intrigued enough to want to listen
more, to invest time and work in listening and comprehending.
Marsh, Franklin, and Crowther's music definitely holds this
appeal, and fans of sonic experimentation in rock improvisation
should definitely check out Shell of Certainty.

Reviewed by Scott Andrews 

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