By John OBoyle
So, RoSfest is a very prodigious festival that has hosted many great bands, being probably THE American prog festival to play. IOEarth can now lay claim to having played that festival and to mark the occasion the band recorded the show, which is presented here as Live in the USA. The beauty of the Birmingham based band is that they are seriously offering something different to other bands out there. Childhood friends Dave Cureton and Adam Gough have created something rather special with this band, something that everyone should participate in and other bands should take note of. Do they see themselves as a progressive rock band? I would hate to pigeon hole them as such, as what they offer is rather unique. What I will say is that they have a very keen ear for an awesome melody and have the ability to take differing musical sounds, melding them into perfect musical interactions.
For anyone who is already in the know, what is presented here will come as no surprise; for those who are not, shame on you! Live in the USA is the perfect entrance to their world, which I guarantee will have you investing in their two previous albums, IOEarth and Moments, both of which have been DPRP recommended gaining 9 out of 10 ratings.
Let’s start with the quality of the recording; Mick Potter has captured the sound to perfection, a vibrant and crystal clear soundstage that captures every little nuance which really highlights the contributing dexterity and proficiency of the musicians. The mixing, mastering and production work is top notch which adds further character to the songs, bringing them alive.
So let us move onto the music presented here. From the opening track Moments through to the album closer Harmonix, we are offered varying styles; world music, rock, sultry melodic tones that offer themselves to your ears. Every note played and sampled has so much grace and depth, the notation given forth by each member constructs a really strong musical foundation. The whole feel of their interaction re-enforces how perfectly these guys are paired; the album just oozes class, flowing with ideas that work on so many different levels. The dynamics of Dave Cureton’s guitar is mesmerising, an entrance of precision and power that stimulates the cerebral cortex allowing the right and left hemisphere’s to be pleasured, making the listener attentive, awareness through thought, consciousness and musical language. Adam Gough’s keyboards reinforce this as they work in perfect harmony layering the work and offering depth as do the rest of the contributing members. Claire Malin’s vocals as ever are so fitting, her presentation really captures the emotion of the pieces allowing them to grow.
Whether you listen to the world music inflected Cinta Indah, the power ballad Home, the rocky Light and Shade or the emotive and passionateHarmonix, just to mention but a few highlights here, the word ‘CLASS’ springs to mind. This is music written by music lovers for people who love music. It’s all about the melody, something that IO Earth’s catalogue has in abundance. Live in the USA is a perfect entrance into the world of IO Earth; as you step into their world you will be taken on a journey of discovery.
One gets the feeling that IO Earth are just warming up…
Conclusion: 9 out of 10
By John OBoyle