Take a look at my previous reviews and it’s readily apparent I’m a fan of the avant garde and the thoroughly off-kilter. There’s something about a sound that pushes boundaries so far beyond the radio definition of “music” that holds the potential to be completely thrilling, but there are also those attempts that end up unfulfilling. Quodia’s The Arrow falls sadly into this latter category. The group’s two primary members – King Crimson guitarist Trey Gunn and Rise Robots Rise’s Joe Mendelson – have an impressive pedigree in making progressive music, and sonically the duo melds 6-string trickery, electronic ambiance, and natural field recordings with an assured deftness, but there’s something about the staid lack of aggression that pushes the sound into new age territory. Adding to this meditative dynamic are the spoken word vocals of Gunn and a cast of others (including Regina Spektor) who offer terse stories spoken with a mixture of gravitas and folksiness of tribal storytellers of times past. It doesn’t quite gel, sometimes coming off as too self-serious while at others a little too “Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy.” It’s certainly an untapped area for these two to devote their creative energy to, hopefully if they choose to revisit this ground in the future they’ll have worked out the kinks from this go at it.