Gravity Tree - Life Or Dessert?

Year of Release: 1999
Label: Canopy A/V Productions
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 39:10:00

Gravity Tree's music is full of angular rhythms with somewhat quirky vocals ? at times, though, I think of Spock's Beard around the time of Beware Of Darkness. But even that isn't really an apt comparison. They've been compared to King Crimson as well, but I'm not quite sure I agree. Avant-garde is how I would describe "Everything." "People Don't Know" has a driving beat with guitars just on this side of harsh - some great leads, juicy bass, and a classic rock like groove - even the production has that heavy, 70s sound.

Gravity Tree consists of Alan Nu on drums, percussion, vocals, synths, and whistle (and corrugated hose ? it says), and Lincoln "Linc" D'Amario on vocals and a variety of guitars. The same line up live, as well. But, in hearing this, you'd swear there must have been a full band there - which in these days of studio magic seems odd to say. But then I think of Phil Collins' Both Sides, which could have used a variety of musicians, and you realize that the magic is in making two guys sound like 5 or 6.

There are some big moments here, big anthemic moments with Rush like overtones (modern Rush versus classic Rush) on "No Rest." And there are moments when I think of Talking Heads on "Minnie's Tree" and on "Life Or Dessert?" Also, on the former, I first thought of Oingo Boingo crossed with King Crimson, but it might more apt to say Danny Elfman fronting Crimson. At the very least, this is perhaps the most "accessible" track on the album, full of darkly churning bass, angry guitar, and driving percussion.

Life Or Dessert? closes with the instrumental "Three's Too" which is layer after layer of shimmering guitar over undulating bass. The lyrics are mostly observations about life and the human condition - not necessarily making bold or prophetic statements about it, but more like ... impressionistic paintings, paintings that ask questions some with a spiritual undertone - more a cynic's view of things; of one who has looked about the world and wonders just what we think we are doing.

Philosophies aside, this may take a couple of listens to get into. There are some tracks that aren't as effective as others, but on the whole it's worth the effort.

Tender Shoot (1:08) / People Don't Know (4:41) / Forget You (4:56) / Almost (1:01) / Everything (4:13) / Minnie's Tree (3:31) / Falling In 3's (2:59) / Harmonic Indulgence (5:06) / Where You Are (3:25) / No Rest (1:21) / Life Or Dessert (6:07) / Three's Too (2:42)

Lincoln 'Linc' D'Amario - vocals, custom tenor-bass combo guitars, 6 and 9 string acoustic guitars, 6 string electric guitars
Alan Nu - drums, percussion, vocal, synthesizers, corrugated hose, whistle

Life Or Dessert? (1999)
Ultimate Backwards (2005)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: April 1st 2000
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1211
Language: english


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