Spaced Out - Eponymus II

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Unicorn Records
Catalog Number: UNCR5003
Format: CD
Total Time: 53:24:00

If you ever get a chance to, please look at the contents of the booklet from Spaced Out's Eponyomous II. As soon as one looks at the band member's pictures, one is forced to wonder if one hasn't just bought an album released by a bunch of humorous punks from Quebec, and although that isn't actually a bad thing in itself, well, this is supposed to be progressive jazz-rock. Thing is, I forgot a very important lesson in life. Never judge a book by its cover.

Never ever, because as soon as "Sever The Seven" kicks off, the album doesn't let up for a second in a frenzied flurry of technical activity that, in all honesty, takes more than just one listen to get into. After a few times through it, however, a sense of curious groove and a general ominous tone begin to shine through and the radically wild arrangements that one would normally expect from a progressive jazz-rock band start to sink in. Then by the time one's comfortable with the album and its modal switches, rhythm structures, and heavy jazz dissonance, it becomes obvious that Eponymus II is a pretty cool album. Not what a "cool cat" would prefer playing, but not what King Crimson would either; the result being a sound commitment between very harsh jazz and a wonderful aggressiveness characteristic of rock.

Particularly impressive are Martin Maheux's drumming and Antoine Fafard's bass wackiness, which drive the record forward in an impatient mood with the level of technicality that is to be expected of any musician deciding to play anything related to jazz, and deciding to do it well too. Not that their cohorts are slouches, mind you. No, Spaced Out is a wonderful ensemble capable of laying down a jazzy harmonic progression as soon as annihilating the world with the best of 'em, and, most importantly, without indulging in stupid "avante-garde dissonance" (namely, noise that no one can really listen to).

There's a problem with Eponymus II, however, and it's a very hard one to elucidate. The arrangements are excellent, the level of musicianship is outstanding, and the tracks are, for the most part, interesting, but there's something wrong with the sense of space inherent in the album's instrumentation. It's certainly not something that can obviate the fact that Eponymus II is a rather enjoyable record, but it does manage to detract from the general effect. A question of production? Perhaps. Even then, however, Spaced Out's second effort is a wonderful album full of a sense of adventurous immediateness, from the building intensity of "For The Trees Too" to the ritual menace of "Glassosphere - Part II." An album for those who still think that fusion is the closest jazz will ever get to rock (and vice versa).

Sever The Seven (8:56) / The Lost Train (6:20) / Infinite Ammo (4:17) / For The Trees Too (4:17) / Trophallaxie (5:57) / Sever The Seven - Revisited (5:33) / The Alarm (3:58) / Glassosphere - Part II (5:31) / Jamosphere (7:50)

Antoine Fafard - bass, sound designing, keyboard sequencing
Martin Maheux - drums
Louis Côté - guitar
Éric St-Jean - keyboards


Mathieu Bourchard - electric guitar
Ron Stewart - tenor sax
Michel Deslauriers - guitar, vocals
Jason Martin - voice

Spaced Out (2000)
Eponymus II (2001)
Slow Gin (2003)
Unstable Matter (2006)
Live At The Crescendo Festival (2007)
Evolution (2008)

Live In 2000 (DVD) (2005)
Live At The Crescendo Festival (2007)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin CA

Added: July 16th 2002
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website:
Hits: 413
Language: english


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