R2 Mag – Rock-n-Reel **** Review

marty press, review

R2 Mag rock-n-reel logoTREACHEROUS ORCHESTRA
‘Origins’
Mar-Apr 2012

Dai Jeffries ****

I don’t know.  You just get accustomed to one eleven-piece supergroup when another one comes along.  This one is Scottish with an Irishman thrown in for balance, and its debut album is probably going to be winning awards a few months from now.

Treacherous Orchestra chose their name well. Origins is  structured like a symphony, with an overture, a prelude, a short opening piece and and five long movements.  Most of the music was written by the members of the band, notably Adam Sutherland, Kevin O’Neill, Innes Watson and John Somerville.

Their sound is traditional Scottish booted firmly into the 21st century with electric guitar, bass and banjo added to the mix.  Sometimes is stomps along; sometimes, as with Ross Ainslie’s ‘Easter Island’, it weaves complex melodies with flutes and pipes, and sometimes it employs sounds like the heartbeat and bells in ‘Overture’.  The show-stopper, ‘Sausages’, begins with a cackle of insane laughter before the pounding drums of Fraser Stone drive into a set of tunes weighing in at thirteen minutes.

This is a genuinely exciting album packed with musical ideas: phrases, changes of rhythm and mood, and never a dull moment.