Gwendolyn

Gwendolyn

The Brain Parade

Figurehead

Damn right; dynamic, intelligent experimental rock is still alive in Central Florida. This 5-cut CD is brought to us by Gwendolyn, a seemingly new band to the area. Not so!

“Who are these guys?” you might ask. Fair enough. Until recently, these guys played the Orlando scene under the name MK Ultra. However, the name became a problem when nearly every other band passing through on tour sported the same name. Why the old English feminine moniker? They’re not saying, and it’s probably just as well.

These guys are intense, highly talented, and obviously very serious about their craft. The five tracks are tightly engineered and technically flawless, yet the comfortable feeling that they’re playing just for me comes to the fore with every musical nuance. All five cuts are excellent, but the highlight of the set is “The End of Sanity,” a leisurely stroll through a heady, psychotic musical dreamscape.

The band’s musical influences are varied. I hear everything from R.E.M. and My Bloody Valentine to Soft Machine and Velvet Underground, yet their music does not sound the least bit derivative.

These guys may be from Orlando, but they do not wear mouse ears. They have carved their own niche well off the beaten path. We could use more bands with this kind of moxie.

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