"On their second full-length release, "Acquatica", the
critically acclaimed instrumental band Scenic traverse some
very familiar ground as they did on their debut "Incident at
Cima" while breaking it at the same time. Formed by ex-Savage
Republic leader and Independent Project Records founder, Bruce
Licher along with former Shiva Burlesque bassist James
Brenner, drummer Brock Wirtz, keyboardist Robert Loveless
supplimented by Doug Smith and Brandon Capps, Scenic's unique
sound is one part spaghetti western composer Ennio Morricone,
one part sailing adrift in international waters and one part
futuristic chamber music. But don't let these three disparate
mental images fool you...Scenic are every bit as raucous as
they are disquieting.
While words like "mature", "focused" and "serious" occasionally describe the mood enhancing music Scenic create, make no mistake about it...these guys are every bit as spirited, fun and energetic as they appear on stage. For every reflective track (oh, those minor chords) like "Ionia", there are others like "Parisia" that are out and out barn burners. How best to describe this band? Actually, it depends on your mood at the time you listen to it.
Clocking in at close to 70 minutes (there is a secret surprise track after the album has seemingly ended) "Acquatica" is more broad based than Scenic's previous releases. No 3 minute pop songs here. In fact, the albums longest track, "Modula Raga" drops in at almost 9 minutes. Unlike most bands Scenic are free to experiment as they are free from the constraint of having a verse/chorus/verse style of song writing. In fact, Scenic structure is limitless in it's philosophy as well as execution.
While Scenic have drawn critical praise from Rolling Stone who said, "If John Ford had directed Koyaanisquatsi, this would have been the perfect soundtrack" to Option who said, "..it's evocative enough to be a cyberpunk western", Scenic's sound is like no one else's. It's otherworldly. It's from another land. It's also from your own backyard. Woodwinds, tribal drums and an underlying ethereal sound are where scenic earn their keep. Never content to stick with the basic guitar, bass and drums, (much like Licher's former outfit, Savage Republic) Scenic attack music more so than play it. Loud, heartfelt and slightly wicked, Scenic's progression from tribal-punk-art-rock musicians into tribal-ethereal-instrumental-rock-and-roll pioneers is made complete with "Acquatica". If you have ever yearned for an evocative rock band into pushing the boundaries of "conventional" 4 chord blues, Scenic could very well be that band."