Singing Trees and Broken Bodies: Indie Band Geology

After listening to his first EP, Geology, who would have guessed this guy (Greg Jehanian) was straight out of the poetry-screaming, hard-rocking eccentric now-quartet, mewithoutyou?  His earlier songs hint at influences as mainstream as Ben Gibbard (death cab for cutie) and The Decemberists however the offbeat is still present both lyrically and musically - reminiscent of our good indie friend Sufjan Stevens.  The newer songs add The Shins to the influential list and a more low-key indie rock feel.  Geology loves trees, love songs, creative rhythms, charming lo-fi harmonies and a wide array of melodic biblical references.

Like all good music, Geology's songs explore human experience: strumming strings, pushing diaphragmatic air past vocal cords, pounding keys and hitting just about anything that just so happens to be in the room at the time of recording to capture even just one tiny little seed of a new thought about the tension between God and man in Geology's case.  A broken body and a perfect invisible being - a beautiful yet busted view - a tall and strong yet dying tree - a variety of conflicted characters starving to verbalize some hard-earned learned truth.

Their most recent EP, The Neighboring Sea, makes me picture a fast-forwarded offbeat nature film showing the formation of a new planet (if such a thing were possible.  it's science).  90% of the film is rough-edged rocky crags, volcanic ash, fiery center-of-planet lava crashing into the bottom of new ocean ridges buried miles under salted, sulfuric (neighboring) seas.  Inhospitable to any kind of life.  Dissonant lo-fi eletro vibes, a distant vocal presence and sounds that comes from unidentified sources.  But the entire purpose of the film is to create a context for the 10%:  the beautiful, green, life and biodiversity-filled ending humanity is hoping for in our minutes, days, summers, childhoods, years and lifetimes.  Some kind of pretty redemption - not one that denies all the wild violence that came before, but one that fulfills it; redeems it.  Makes it all makes sense.

Just like the ending to the song Arboretum on The Neighboring Sea, I'll end this review suddenly on that open-ended note. 


brettstrobridge said...

thank you for this...didn't know about this band/project...anything that comes out of mewithoutYou, I have every confidence in...and I like your review writing styl!.

check out my own music reviews when you get the chance

timothy graham said...

cool, thanks for reading. rock on.