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Alternative & Indie - Released April 12, 2019 | No Quarter

Guitarist/composer Chris Forsyth grew from experimental roots but developed his playing into something masterful and distinctive as he honed his craft over the years. Even while he was most active in the sometimes challenging sounds of New York's improvisational scene in the late '90s and early 2000s, Forsyth was looking for new ways to twist his instrument into something that could be technically sharp and without conventional boundaries at the same time. By the time he founded the Solar Motel Band in 2013, Forsyth had spent decades cultivating a guitar sound that drew on the sturdiness of classic roots rock and extended free-form jamming and elements of spiritual jazz and early Americana. The sprawling double album All Time Present is a sampler pack of Forsyth's strongest impulses, offering up just eight mostly instrumental pieces but stretching out in different directions over the course of its hour-plus playing time. Though All Time Present is the first work billed as a solo album since 2013's Solar Motel, Forsyth is bolstered by various players on every track. Most notably, bassist Peter Kerlin (also of Sunwatchers) and drummer Ryan Jewell add weight to tracks like album opener "Tomorrow Might As Well Be Today" or the Rosali-sung "Dream Song." These songs push steadily while they buzz with a loose, anxious energy, like Crazy Horse jamming with Amon Duul and trying to keep up. Songs drift in and out of each other, the free ramble of "The Past Ain't Passed" swimming in formlessness for almost nine minutes before giving way to the acoustic intro of barnburner "New Paranoid Cat." Though Grateful Dead-modeled jamming plays into Forsyth's style, he opts for a far more calculated take on jam band psychedelia, making sharp, intentional turns on the synth/guitar duet "(Livin' On) Cubist Time" rather than noodling aimlessly. The various parts of the album go in a multitude of stylistic directions but still feel intertwined. Even though most tracks approach the ten-minute mark and album closer "Techno Top" nearly hits 20 minutes, Forsyth never stays on one idea too long, and the entire experience somehow seems to rush by. While All Time Present moves through various moods and approaches, from Krautrock reenvisioned as rural guitar rock to floating ambience, it remains knowingly tied together by threads of dazzling playing and boundless exploration. ~ Fred Thomas

Alternative & Indie - Released October 29, 2013 | Paradise of Bachelors


Alternative & Indie - Released March 29, 2011 | Family Vineyard

"[T]ouched by a divine spark, delivering its delights with open-hearted swagger and approachable intelligence."

Alternative & Indie - Released March 4, 2019 | No Quarter


Alternative & Indie - Released December 6, 2011 | Family Vineyard