String Cheese Incident Untying the Not

The SCI are certainly a jam band scene monster unto themselves, though instead of trying to appeal to the youth, they aim for the quasi-intellectual old school jam fans who have somewhat shifted over to the contemporary Don Henley side of music listening — like relying on Walmart to show them the way to what's happening in the music world. This fourth studio record for the Colorado-based band is deeply immersed in the reflective looking back and finding peace with the future themes (along with the occasional bizarre officious female narrative vocals), which obviously lends itself to sombre-toned songs as well as folk meets Big Chill coming-of-age piano mini-epics. Things do tend to get a bit funky and psychedelic halfway through the album — and the introduction of ethnic instruments and slight electronics does come to play, like mixing the Corrs and Phish together. And during some of the finer Beatle-esque tracks like "Tinder Box,” and "Time Alive" the band reach amazing heights with a clever subconscious-like usage of progressive moments just as the Police had done many years ago. Though a little uneven, this album yields an interesting listen and is smarter and more progressive in terms of experimenting with emotional soundscapes than most hippie bands out there. (Independent)