"Squeeze Me Ahead of Line" (Unsung/Iapetus; 2008)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Appropriately termed “jazzcore,” The Season Standard mix jazz, elements of fusion (itself a rock-jazz hybrid), funk, pop, and electronica into a genre-smashing mish-mash of experimentalism. The Season Standard appears to be the latest band in an evolution of fusion greats from Germany (echoing back to the days of Secret Oyster). Not that any of us immersed in the rock and heavy metal worlds would know this right away. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth knowing at all.

Fans of progressive rock and fusion will find much to appreciate in The Season Standard’s unique approach to music. To use the term "balance" might suggest that “Squeeze Me Ahead of Line” is an easy listen – but that wouldn’t be the case. Although every instrument has its appropriate place in the mix, certain instruments take precedent where necessary. The result is a challenging yet rewarding listening experience. If anything, it is the drums that take the proverbial center stages most frequently. In fact, fans that appreciate overtly technical drumming will also find “Squeeze Me Ahead of Line” to be an intriguing listening. Regardless, you haven’t quite heard music like this.

The Season Standard’s songs are edgy – constantly pushing forward, not unlike the mood suggested by the album’s title. The first track, “A Seadog Grotesque,” sets the stage for the genre-bending experience, “12 Inches Nose Makes Disco” brings humor and joy to the forefront, while “Kaira” allows its progressive arrangement to fully highlight the band’s unique approach not only to songwriting but to the performances as well.

I hear what would be an appropriate approximation of Steely Dan, Porcupine Tree, and Jaco Pastorius.

“Squeeze Me Ahead of Line” was produced by Markus Reuter (Tuner, centrozoon), mixed by Fabio Trentini (Moonbound, Guano Apes), and mastered by Denis Blackham (Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Yes).

The Season Standard: Mathias Jahnig on vocals and guitar, Daniel Scherf on guitar and keyboards, Robert Koppisch on bass, and Simon Beyer on drums. Guests on “Squeeze Me Ahead of Line” include Trey Gunn.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2009 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 04 Oct 2020 15:25:37 -0400 .