Solution Science Systems - Solution Science Systems (promo ep)

Year of Release: 2002
Label: self-released
Catalog Number: -
Format: CD
Total Time: 14:59:00

In January 2002 three scientists who claim to be merely employees of the Atlanta, GA based corporation Solution Science Systems (SSS) and not, in fact, an Atlanta, GA based (progressive) rock group, issued on compact audio disc (CD) several examples of their self-described "phototon byproducts of Bioelectric Aural Research Development (BARD) technology." As members of the music press, we received a copy of this audio document for review and comment. However, it has only now come under scrutiny.

Four audio documents are included in the report, three of which are of a musical nature. That fourth, and the second document in the sequence, is a spoken word public service announcement called, "Public SSService Announcement." However, our close analysis focused in on the three remaining pieces.

The results of the first experiment ("ETP"), on the surface, sounded to us suspiciously like those aural transmissions heard in the 1980s by a trio of musicians calling themselves The Police. The results of SSS's experiment has what might be termed a "punk rock sound." For those too young to remember or to old to have cared, punk rock was a style of music characterized by belligerence and anger; however, the sound from The Police added a pop sheen and removed some of the "aggro." Hearing this experiment from the beginning, our first thought was of the seminal progressive rock group Yes, but within short order we were transported back and sideways to the popish punk of The Police, as we mentioned.

"Hey, Butterfly" is the name that's been given to the third experiment. The results to be heard here are at times melodic, at times heavy, with hints at another popular 80s trio called Rush, this heard in the guitar work of MacGrogan, reinforced by the fat bass work of Tegethoff. When MacGrogan experiments with a guitar solo, however, there are few resemblances to Rush. The piece remains rooted in the 80s.

The recorded document ends with the all instrumental "Science Is The Solution Part I." Again, hints at Rush can be heard. But with various other elements thrown in the resemblance is only transitory. It will recall for the listener the more progressive moments of groups that were otherwise considered heavy metal or hard rock, but who obviously wanted to branch from the narrow confines engendered by those two genre demarcations. The sound that results here from their experimenting with a heavy bass sound and darkened guitar tones, and the atmosphere of swirling keyboards, will remind many attentive listeners of the 1971 piece "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" by the British rock quartet The Beatles, who are an excellent example of a rock band that strove to be something a cut above the ordinary.

Whether Solution Science System's sonic experiments meet the criteria for progressive rock will, no doubt, be the subject of much debate, though no more so than for any other band seeking entre into the exclusive, but ever widening arena of progressive rock. As with Galileo, the scientists at SSS will meet some skepticism from the progressive rock public, but examination of their methods, and the structure underlying their experiments, will surely convince some, if not all, that those very same methods and structures are sound. That is to say, they meet the critieria for progressive rock, as we have already established that the results are, indeed, audible entities. That the three scientists don't wish to be thought of a (progressive) rock band will be a harder hurdle to overcome given the character of the results and the audience to which the experiments have been given. The category under which these experiments have been classified is Science Rock (or SciRock).

Beyond the concept, they are not your ordinary group of musicians. And from a performance point of view, are better than your ordinary group of musicians ? where today's chart stars being the standard against which SSS are being compared. However, what results is, on the whole, rather ordinary. While the results are pleasing to the ear, memorable, and structured with some degree of complexity (not to mention a sense of humour), there is nothing to distinguish results, nothing that rises them to the level of extraordinary. But then, these appear to be the beginning results of their study; perhaps the future will reveal results well above today's standard.

While the results have only been issued to the press, a more complete report is planned to be issued to the public some time this year entitled Daemon Ex Machina - science ed.

ETP (4:30) / Public SSService Announcement (1:04) / Hey, Butterfly (5:02) / Science Is The Solution Part I (4:22)

Andy Tegethoff ? bass
Kelly Shane ? drums and percussion
Rob MacGrogan ? guitars, vocals

Solution Science Systems (ep) (2002)
Daemon Ex Machina (2003)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: May 4th 2003
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 631
Language: english


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