Umbra by The Sound Gallery

posted in: January 2009, Music Review | 0

sound-galleryTHE SOUND GALLERY
UMBRA

2008 Independent
Purchase: MySpace
Review by: Steve Ruff

The Sound Gallery is unique. This is Herb Grimaud Jr.’s band, and he is the sole member. I remembered Herb from when he played with The Violet Burning several years ago. I didn‘t know what to expect from the music, but the stuff I heard on MySpace was so different from anything else that is out there. I bought all three albums and chose to review this one because it was the latest. All three are good, but Umbra might be my favorite. Umbra means “a region of complete shadow resulting from total obstruction of light”. The music reflects this in that it is sonically dark, sparse and sounds like something that you would hear recorded from the depths of underwater, or maybe even outer space. I say that it’s dark, but it is also quiet, ethereal, lush and full sounding. It is instrumental and quite honestly it’s also very hard to describe. According to Herb’s MySpace page he says, “I like turning knobs and pushing buttons to see what kind of sounds they will make.” He describes his band as “ambient, experimental, noisy and sometimes beautifully out of tune.” Whatever you call it, however you classify it, pick it up and listen to it. It really is that good. You could expect something this unique from someone whose influences include Martin Luther, John Calvin and Tom Savini.

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