Loner's 'In the Tides of Time' Album Review

Take a hit, put on your headphones, turn out the lights, close your eyes and press play on Loner's latest release In the Tides of Time. The LP is an atmospheric, moody head trip that traverses the musical landscape, moving from the cloudy mist of "Storm Front" to the funky track "Say" and beyond. Each track encapsulates its own mood and message, but they all work together to paint a larger cohesive picture.

In the Tides of Time is an album that flows well from track to track but each has a life of its own. They are more like six movements of music each with individual highs and lows, making the album very dynamic. “Stormfront” sets the interstellar stage as we are transported to the depths of the cosmos. It’s calm in the eye of the storm, but the next track “Bioluminescence”  steps up the pace as things start to fly out of control to its dance laden beat. This second track is a psychedelic show-tune filled with back up singers creating a Cab Calloway-esque call and response; a musical follow the leader.

The third track “Say” starts with a riff heavy groove but quickly moves to a spaced out breakdown. It’s a meditation and exploration of the importance of communication in any variety of relationship, “Speaking is useless if you ain’t got nothin’ to say”, lead singer and songwriter Josh Loner sings. The melding of voices is just as important to the record as the instrumentation. The attention to detail in the formation of each movement is crucial. The compositions are intricate, and the flourishes are well manicured.

Josh Loner is joined on this record by fellow bandmates singer Shae Edman, guitarist Chava Flax, flutist Carolyn Reis, saxophonist Kassle Molinar and percussionist Chris Gravely. Loner wields this arsenal masterfully allowing each instrument to play its part without one overpowering the other. This is heard on the forth track “Commodity Fetish” which brings us back from outer space and to the front lines of the culture war with a marching beat and a saxophone siren call to action. The song ends with one final chant of ‘No justice no peace,’ as it explodes back into cosmic chaos leading into the the next track ‘Body Bag’.

A noisy primordial ooze of distorted vocal tracks and meddling flute, drums and saxophone. "Body Bag" leads us through to the final track of the album ‘Contributing to the Delinquency of a D Minor.’ A lengthy track clocking in at 9:05, it ruminates lyrically on innocence lost through knowledge gained.

In the Tides of Time is an excellent example of what an album can do that an EP or single release cannot. The fluidity and seamless move between tracks are not a lost art but one that is neglected in a world of iTunes single track downloads. It allows for a much richer piece of art when the time and care is given to it. Not only do the tracks stand alone in their own right but they meld together into a cohesive whole.