Long Wait Brings Excellent and Revived Sound...
Joshua M. Dudas | 12/18/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It has been 6 years since their last split EP release with Maserati and it has been 7 years since a full length album. The wait may have been long, but well worth it.
Since I first heard their EP "All The Suits Began To Fall Off" I have fallen in love with them. The band has changed it's sound up since their 1999 self titled release. With older releases a heavy jazz influence could be felt all the way to 2001 in All The Suits Began to Fall Off. Their newer stuff such as A Data Learn the Language (2002)and Confines of Heat (2003) you can hear them starting to really mold into something just a little different. The jazz feel is still there but less prevalent and in its place is more experimenting with guitars drums, and various percussion instruments and electronics (such as the vibraphone).
Their newest release, Chez Viking, goes with the later. Their album is a roller coaster, but in a good way, you have songs which are upbeat such as the title track Chez Viking and then there are the calming/relaxing songs (Arrived/Departed). The album flows together well with a full and vibrant sound and doesn't feel too short at 30 mins. The band decided to yet again release the album as a completely instrumental work unlike a few albums before (Self Titled, From The Vapor Of Gaosline).
Long time fans of The Mercury Program will have no serious problems with the album considering it does not sound like a copy of their previous albums. New comers won't have to worry about allowing this type of album to "grow" on them like so many bands in this genre of music. The album is easy listening and not all that extreme in the experimenting aspect (which is not a bad thing in any sense).
So if you are in the mood for something nice to listen to while reading the paper/book, studying for a test, or simply relaxing this album could be just what you need.