Forever Einstein - Opportunity Crosses The Bridge

Year of Release: 1992
Label: Cuneiform Records
Catalog Number: Rune 41
Format: CD
Total Time: 43:36:00

Forever Einstein was a name I'd seen mentioned often, usually in the pages of Expose, but hadn't otherwise heard. So, while not entirely blindly, I picked up Opportunity Crosses The Bridge, their 1992 release. Now, as unfortunately happens, I'll buy something with the best of intentions, but sometimes it sits a bit before it actually gets a listen - though I have not had this since 1992 (it is approaching 2 years, to be honest). With their pending appearance at ProgDay 2003, it was time to give the disc a few spins.

It is what I expected - avant-guardish, instrumental pieces. Given that they were mentioned in Expose (which gravitates in this direction), announced for ProgDay (which gravitates in this direction) and that they were signed to Cuneiform Records (which gravitates in this direction), it was almost assured that they were not going to be a symphonic band. What we get here are, given the length of some of the pieces, small vignettes. The longest composition lasts 4:20, the shortest 0:22.

Forever Einstein are a trio of John Roulat on drums and percussion, Marc Sichel on bass, C.W. Vrtacek (now called Charles O'Meara) on guitar and keyboards, and with Victor Pachera on narration (the story that accompanies the sci-fi tale "Bye Bye, Barbie." Beginning with a harsh, tortured violin-like guitar, Opportunity Crosses The Bridge runs the gamut from the whimsical "More Of The Same For Me, Please," which also falls under the pulsating, surfish rock music category for a brief time (as does "Nude Hula"), and the energetic, rallying "Team Fight Song" to the lyrical. From dense ("Radium," a thick, heavy snippet) to sparse (the shimmery drums and percussion only "Hydrogen"), from cool New York experimental jazz ("Einsteinium") to down home Americana (the bluegrass or squaredance like "Lift And Separate"). "Hercules Pushes Giant Goats Over The Cliff And Watches As They Fall Into The Canyon Below" is a strident piece, with dark, but crisp and taut, drumming. As with many of the other pieces, Vrtacek plays a happy guitar, both electric and acoustic. "Shut That Thing Off And Come To Bed" is a bit angry and snarly, certainly during the acidic and searing guitar solo from Vrtacek over pounded drums from Roulat. Sichel's bass pins you in place will Vrtacek and Roulat have their way with your ears. "Boron," which follows, is a gloomier piece, that sounds more like church musicians warming up to play at a funeral.

In a very broad sense, we can mention King Crimson (in addition to a wide variety of Cuneiform artists), though mainly to the sharper edges to some of the arrangements -- "Hercules..." for example, or "Oxygen" I think because the pieces are short, many don't have a chance to develop. While the performance is good and the pieces can be fun to listen to, there isn't anything that grabs ahold, making you hit replay on the player. That doesn't mean there aren't interesting compositions here, but they seem more like sketches of ideas, rather than fully fleshed out ideas.

Everybody Here Is Broke So Stop Complaining, OK? (2:22) / This Ain't Disneyland (1:59) / My Friends Made Fun Of My Pants (2:10) / Antimony (0:34) / Big Fun In The Basement (2:02) / Boron (0:51) / Appliances Du Sauvage (2:17) / Carbon (0:47) / Lift And Separate (2:34) / Einsteinium (0:39) / What's That On Your Shirt? (2:16) / Europium (1:10) / More Of The Same For Me, Please (2:41) / Hydrogen (0:51) / Team Fight Song (2:03) / Mercury (0:22) / This Is America, Why Should I Have To Mow My Own Lawn? (2:22) / Neon (0:40) / Hercules Pushes Giant Goats Over The Cliff And Watches As They Fall Into The Canyon Below (2:19) / Oxygen (0:51) / Shut That Thing Off And Come To Bed (1:51) / Phosphorus (0:30) / Nude Hula (1:49) / Radium (0:44) / Sheba Wore No Nylons (2:08) / Tin (0:39) / She Wears Her Dead Mother's Hat (4:20) / On The Way To Chartres We Stopped And Walked Through Fields Of Sunflowers In The Early Evening (1:13) / Bye Bye, Barbie (3:53)

John Roulat - drums, percussion
Marc Sichel - bass
C.W. Vrtacek (Charles O'Meara) - guitar, keyboards
Victor Pachera - narration (29)

Artificial Horizon (1990)
Opportunity Crosses The Bridge (1992)
One Thing After Another (1998)
Down With Gravity (2000)
Racket Science (2005)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: September 8th 2003
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1183
Language: english


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