Floater is the unique synthesis of the Talking Heads meets Disturbed with vocals reminiscent of Jim Morrison of the Doors and David Gilmore of Pink Floyd. The Portland trio is headed by Robert Wynia (lead vocals, bass) Peter Cornett (drums) and Dave Amador (guitar) round out Floater's compelling sound. Having spun this disc numerous times I felt disconnected to the music. The lyrics are compelling and deep in comparison to what you generally are used to hearing on Top 40, not that they are in that vein. The lyrics and strong storytelling plus their shifts in mood from hard core and heavy to the melodic and soulful are a difficult transition.
Alter Floaters most critically acclaimed record to date combines the bands strongest musical elements moving from fluidly from heavy riffs to lullabies and tells flowing stories of fear, love and change. It's a difficult CD to sink your teeth into with such tremendous shifts in style. Their really isn't any continuity to the disc and many songs are over six minutes kind of reminiscence of the band Phish's improvisational jams.
"Crusatyr", the strongest track uses special effects including booming bass and strong storytelling like Jim Morrison's vocal phrasing in "The End" used in Apocalypse Now movie. The tune moves for dark and mysterious lyrics where it is up to you to figure out what the band is exactly meaning. The bridge is hard and heavy in the vein of Godsmack or Sevendust. The trio has a deep penetrating moving sound.
"Alone's" lyrics state how it is that we are all alone in this world. The bass is at the forefront of this tune the melodic part to the song. Wynia sets the stage for this song using his bass line and the song, which is gripping recount of all of us facing mortality.
"Tracks across the Snow" echoes that of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. Again the band experiments in using song over the five minute mark which is a curse for Top 40 or mainstream radio. I don't think Floater is heading in that direction anyway.
Rocking Horse," using Middle Eastern themes also using in the opening track "Zero Hour" They insert sitar verses hard-core vocals and thumping bass and drums.
Their music is something you would put on after sparking up a bud and kicking back at home. Listen to them in a reclining position. It's hard to nail down what they are trying to have their audience conceive about their music. Is it hard core and heavy or lullaby and subtle that lack of continuity is probably the downfall of the disc.
At best, Wynia's vocals echo that of Jim Morrison of the Doors meets David Gilmore of Pink Floyd. The music is dramatic and the lyrics are well thought out and deep. They are providing your brain with some exercise. Check them out on their latest disc Alter.
Susan Salva is a Staff Writer. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.