What I Heard This Morning: Empty Space Orchestra

There are transitions employed by Empty Space Orchestra, a progressive quintet from Bend, Oregon, that stink of raw devotion for the likes of Frank Zappa and King Crimson.  Somehow, the band can rock progressively with zero pretension, just a confidence that theirs is a worthwhile dynamic that focuses more on power than mathematics.  No doubt the time signatures take center stage, but there's no academia here.  This is fun for them, and you can hear it.

Look/listen to the links below which, along with the info, come courtesy of Us/Them Group.  Empty Space Orchestra are releasing their self-titled debut on May 10th.

Empty Space Orchestra takes post-prog-noir-space-metal virtuosity on tour following album release next week 

"They rock in an In the Court of the Crimson King-era King Crimson kind of way but with a sound all their own. These guys (and gal) have a kind of talent rarely seen outside of jam-band/festival circles." -- SSG Music

"Part jazz, part The Mars Volta bizarro world, part stoner/spacey rock, part post-rock, Empty Space Orchestra is a band that don't want to pigeonhole themselves into anything, so instead they encompass everything -- and they do that on display in quite a loud fashion." -- Redefine Magazine

Empty Space Orchestra unleashes the impressive instrumental heft of its new Robert Cheek (RX Bandits, Deftones) engineered, Matt Bayles (Mastodon, Pearl Jam, ISIS) mixed self-titled album next week on May 10th. Immediately thereafter, the Bend, OR quintet of impeccable musicians begin a series of tours bringing their symphonic, melodic sound nationwide. West coast dates begin with an album release show in Portland, OR and shows throughout the summer across the U.S. are still being confirmed. Please see current dates below.

ALARM Press premiered a new MP3 from the album, "
Exit Strategy" which is available HERE.

Check out additional album tracks, "Intergalactic Battle Cruiser" HERE and "El Viento" HERE. The band's musicianship must be seen live -- watch videos for "Exit Strategy" HERE, "Brainjar" HERE and "El Viento" HERE.

Their 9-song, 50-minute self-titled album is a hook-laden marriage of heft and harmony that veers far away from the navel-gazing jamming often associated with music of such explorative origins. Elements of The Mars Volta's most frenetic moments merge with soaring post-rock of Russian Circles, as well as hints of Deftones, Dub Trio and lilting chamber pop all colliding in brilliant synergy from one song to the next.

The group of classically-trained musicians is anchored by the stunning power and precision of drummer Lindsey Elias -- clearly a musician soon to hold rank amongst her most celebrated male counterparts. Guitarist Shane Thomas and bassist Patrick Pearsall provide a balance of head-bobbing riffs interspersed with tasteful and inventive lines that weave like musical narrative throughout. Meanwhile, multi-instrumentalists Keith O'Dell (keyboards, piano, lap steel) and Graham Jacobs (saxophone, flute, synths) add myriad melodic layers and cinematic moods that often deftly counterbalance heavy riffs with glissando piano melodies and swaggering horns.

The disc was recorded at the popular The Hangar Studios in Sacramento, CA with engineer Robert Cheek (RX Bandits, Deftones, Tera Melos) and mixed by Matt Bayles (Mastodon, Pearl Jam, ISIS) at Red Room Studios in Seattle, WA. Since the band's inception in late 2007, ESO has built a devoted and rapidly growing fan base in the Northwest exclusively on the weight of their highly memorable live performances. While the album perfectly showcases the band's musical precision, it must be noted that ESO is an extremely loud band -- quite possibly the loudest band you will ever see with a saxophone on stage.

"I was spending a lot of time thinking about what Miles Davis used to say; 'It's not about the space you play, but the space you leave,'" explains Thomas. "That's where the 'Empty Space' came from... ironically we don't leave much space in our music." Nonetheless, the sum of Empty Space Orchestra's myriad parts never seem bloated, overblown or obtrusive.

Empty Space Orchestra's self-titled debut will be available everywhere on CD/Digital on May 10th.


05/11 Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios (album release; free DL w/ ticket)
05/12 Eugene, OR @ Sam Bond's Garage
05/13 Corvallis, OR @ Bomb's Away
05/19 Bend, OR @ Century Center (free album DL w/ ticket)
05/28 Bend, OR @ Mt. Bachelor
06/02 Los Angeles, CA @ The Mint
06/03 San Francisco, CA @ Boom Boom Room
06/04 Fresno, CA @ Fulton 55
07/28 Denver, CO @ Cervantes' Other Side

Artist: Empty Space Orchestra
Empty Space Orchestra
Label: Empty Space Unlimited
Release Date: May 10th, 2011

01. Brainjar (VIDEO)
02. Exit Strategy (MP3) (VIDEO)
03. Intergalactic Battle Cruiser (MP3 ) (STREAM)
04. El Viento ( MP3) (STREAM) (VIDEO)
05. Get Some
06. Tiger Puss
07. Tennessee Red
08. The Hangar
09. Clouds

On the Web:
Letters From A Tapehead


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