Grand Theft Bus Birth Of Confusion

Bestowing the jazz-rock/prog-rock label on a band might not be the best way to help them win over new fans albums but Halifax’s Grand Theft Bus are nothing to fear. Birth Of Confusion, the quartet’s second record, recalls Discipline-era King Crimson, relying on complex chord progressions, quirky melodies, slinky grooves and gibberish lyrics that are more Adrian Belew than Pete Sinfield. You won’t hear anything about great wizards or Dark Lords on this one. At 75-minutes, all the jazzy vamping starts to grate on my rock and roll ears a bit but there’s plenty to like here. Vocalists Graeme and Tim Walker have tremendous pitch control and sing with an appropriate amount of emotional distance. And while the songs generally go over the five-minute mark, the band keeps things interesting with tricky tempo changes and interlocking ensemble playing. And while the group likes the jam, the focus is on actual songwriting and the crystalline production helps bring this idea forward. Well worth exploring. (Independent)