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Inner Ear Brigade biography
A Rock Oaklanders INNER EAR BRIGADE were founded in 2005 as a quartet by a guitarist / frontman Bill WOLTER and his fellow musicians. Although their lineup has not been settled, basically they've utilized Hammond Organ, Fender Rhodes, Moog synthesizer, voices, vibes or a viola for their music experimentalism, obviously influenced by Sun Ra, Ruins, and especially Magma. Since 2009 they've expanded their formation into a septet, featuring voices, guitars, bass, drums, keyboards, saxophone, and vibraphone.

In January 2012, INNER EAR BRIGADE released their first full length album "Rainbro" via an Italian independent label AltrOck Records and upon their bandcamp (as a downloadable material).

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Belly BrainBelly Brain
self released 2005
$5.75 (used)
Altrock 2017
$26.50 (used)
Imports 2012
Right Now on Ebay (logo)

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INNER EAR BRIGADE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.30 | 19 ratings
4.00 | 12 ratings

INNER EAR BRIGADE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

INNER EAR BRIGADE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

INNER EAR BRIGADE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

INNER EAR BRIGADE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 1 ratings
Belly Brain


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Dromology by INNER EAR BRIGADE album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.00 | 12 ratings

Inner Ear Brigade RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars It's been five years since the wonderful Rainbro but this little gem makes the wait all worthwhile. A little heavier and more serious this time around but the compositional skill and instrumental performances have improved a notch (as if that were possible!)

1. "Dark Sleep Fortress" (6:40) opens the album with a heavier but still avant sound that is fully recognizable for people who are familiar with their previous album, Rainbro. The band is thick and tight! Forgot how much I like these horns and the voice of Melody Ferris. Nice keyboard solo and horn section work in the final two minutes. Unfortunately, the bass line here just gets too old--not enough movement and variation. (8/10)

2. "Black And White Taste" (5:56) avant in a math rock almost THINKING PLAGUE way. Almost feels like a study in whole-band (even vocal) weave using odd time signatures. I have to admit that I don't like it when Melody's voice is used in this way. Great bass, sax, and electric piano work. (8/10)

3. "Shaman Coin Toss" (6:51) nice opening with lots of fast-paced whole-band movement. Almost HAIRCUT ONE HUNDRED energy here. Melody's voice brings us back to solid ground (in a good way) before the horns and fast- play and changes take us in other directions--many! And moving so fast! This is fun! The 1960s Bay Area-style electric solo is unfortunate; turns me off. Piano section is nice, simple, a surprising twist--coupled with a softer side of Melody. FROGG CAFÉ comes to mind here. As with some of the previous album, the mid-song tempo and stylistic changes are a bit mystifying. Still, a pretty amazing composition. (9/10)

4. "Bobotut" (6:12) bouncy, upbeat multi-thread weave with instrument-like vocals mirrored by sax and other horns throughout. Part NORTH SEA RADIO ORCHESTRA, part Astrud & João Gilberto. Gorgeous! Maybe my favorite song on the album! (9.5/10)

5. "Dromology" (8:55) love the winding rondo weave of the separated horns on this with Melody's long drawn out singing notes. (9/10)

6. "Targa Floria" (4:22) horns, repeated electric guitar riff, and Fender Rhodes-like keys fill the opening before the horn section starts doing its magic in several weaves. This is all multi-layered instrumental jazz--a very intricate composition very tightly performed. The horns in the mid-section and second half are quite nostalgic in a BURT BACHARACH-kind of way. A top three for me. (9.5/10)

7. "Birdie In The Wall" (6:57) awesome big-band kind of opening turns into a more intricate staccato weave with Melody Ferris's smooth torch song vocal playing over the top. The second section gives this almost a SWING OUT SISTER sound. I love it! Such a great, smooth song! Definitely another top three song for me. (9.5/10)

The further I get into the album I keep wondering why this wonderful bass player did what he did in the opening song.

4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of progressive rock music. There's a little feeling of the genius of HOMUNCULUS RES here.

 Rainbro by INNER EAR BRIGADE album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.30 | 19 ratings

Inner Ear Brigade RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars COS and STEREOLAB comingled and recorded for the first time!

Just kidding. This album is, however, for our times, quite unusual. At first I thought it "cute" and "interesting" but as I've given it many more listens I hear so much of two of my favorite "recent" or rather late in life joy-bringing discoveries in Canterbury styled music (of which there is so little coming out in the 21st Century) and, more specifically, the music of the unique Belgian group, COS. Actually, if you took 1970s COS and 2000 STEREOLAB you would have INNER EAR BRIGADE. Vocalist Melody Ferris sounds stylistically a bit like Kitchen Thieves' AMY DARBY or Thinking Plague's ELAINE DI FALCO, though the PASCALE SON (COS) and LAETITIA SADIER (STEREOLAB) comparisons are unavoidable. And these guys are from West Coast USA! This is an album of pure joy and fun. Even the extended jazz grooves with their serious and accomplished horn play and solos are fun. The opener, "Knee," is such an ear catcher! Sounds a bit like an ELVIS COSTELLO song as it might be performed by STEREOLAB. "Oomph" has some KC AND THE SUNSHINE BAND riffs and influence as well as feeling like some of FROGG CAFE's most CHICAGO-ishness. "Missing the Train" feels a lot like a song coming from the 1960s Brazilian-influenced period of U.S. pop jazz. "Rainbro," perhaps my least favorite song on the album, has more of a "bland" Stereolab feel to it--the melodies and chord changes are not quite as catchy as other songs--though I love the final 30 seconds. "Too Good to Be True" has some social-political commentary like that commonly found in Stereolab songs as well as some nice XTC-like jazz guitar sound/work. "Somnambulist Subversion" uses two long-out-dated instrumental effects: the cheesy synth and the ragged distortion strum of a punk-like guitar that begin the song. Once voice, horns and percussives, tuned and untuned, join in, the song takes on a more early Elvis Costello sound and feel. "Nutjob is an instrumental that begins in a tight Canterbury fashion: whole band chord staccato progression before settling down into a pleasant kind of jazz beat to support trade off solos from horns, Farfisa organ & crazy synths, distorted and jagged guitars, tuned percussives. "Forgotten Planet" is my favorite. It begins with flute and tight Stereolab-like rhythm bass with vocalist Melody Ferris's scatting Pascale Son (COS)-like. Wonderful Canterbury song! "Dirty Spoons" begins with an acoustic guitar playing an arpeggiated chord sequence that is just heart-wrenchingly beautiful. Bandleader Bill Wolter is gradually joined by the rhythm section, keyboards and horns--which take over the presentation of the melodies on this awesome instrumental. Parts have an almost Acid Jazz feel to it, only without the house downbeat. Another favorite. "25 Miles to Freedom" is notable for both its length (10:31) and its different jazz beat--like a kletzmer-meets-Philip-Glass or like the 1988 Pat Metheny-Steve Reich collaboration on "Different Trains." Melody Ferris's jazzy vocals aren't quite as warm or alluring on this one--and actually make it obvious that on this particular song it's the instrumental sections that are the standouts--like the violin, sax, and vibraphone trio in the seventh minute, or the STEELY DAN-like sax solo in minute number eight. My favorite songs in which Melody's voice shine are the wordless "Forgotten Planet," "Missing The Train," "Oompah," "Knee," and "Rainbro."

The more I listen to this album, in a variety of locations, the more I think that this is, in fact, a masterpiece of progressive rock music. (My favorite listening venue thus far has been in the car, uninterrupted highway driving.) This could be slightly tainted by the fact that the album gets better and better with each song, but could be also because I am so craving upbeat, happy prog--kind of like what we lost with the fadeout of the Canterbury Scene.

4.5 stars rated up for clean brilliant fun and for resurrecting the refreshing, jazzy, Canterbury sound.

 Rainbro by INNER EAR BRIGADE album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.30 | 19 ratings

Inner Ear Brigade RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Inner Ear Brigade is a ayoung american prog band who just releases their first album named Rainbro not long ago at italian label Altrock. Very nice surprise this album , it sounds quite avant prog to me with some jazzy moments here and there, with some great moments like on opening track Knee, Oomp Pah , Missing the train or the longest track 25 Miles to Freedom with nice female vocals made by Melody Ferris with tenacious sax playing by Ivor Holloway combined with groovy guitar parts and great mellotron arrangements in the mix, very nice overall. Not a bad moment here, even the cover art is great so a winner to my ears, a new album that desearves attention. Similarities maybe at some point with Laser Pace and their excellent Granfaloon or Megan Quartet in places. 4 stars, fresh and exciting album.
Thanks to DamoXt7942 for the artist addition.

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