Joey Mazzola - guitar, bass, acoustic guitar
Gretchen Gonzales - guitar, vocals
Warren Defever - bass synthesizer, mellotron
Steve Nistor - drums, percussion
Jordan Schug - double bass (Breathless, Blue Photons)
Salem Daly - vocals (Space Signal)
Tabula Rasa is closer to what the band is like live now. It highlights the point at which new age type music can become biker rock—which at times approximates Hawkwind or much German music from 1976, while rarely sounding like anything but itself. Tracks like “Around the Sun” and “Sky Diamonds” definitely have evolved out of the group playing new age type music together. But here, the melodies are more pronounced; the chords and harmonies are more like pop music. Drone-based elements remain, but the pieces are shorter and far more propulsive.
Gonzales shows off her noise-guitar pedigree with both subtlety and aggression. Defever has largely ditched his tanpura for a bass synthesizer. It’s a joy to hear Nistor, who’s been a member of Sparks for close to two decades, open up, and just go gonzo on his kit. Mazzola’s songwriting has followed suit; these are great (and often lovely) compositions here. And his practice in playing with the band, especially Nistor, allows Mazzola to open up new possibilities for downright prog than he’s ever shown before.
Album: Tabula Rasa
Artist: Infinite River
Catalog Number: BMR135