Call for Feature Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

Music
cover art

Scorch Trio

Melaza

(Rune Grammofon; US: 7 Dec 2010; UK: 25 Oct 2010)

There aren’t very many trios out there with the improvisational chops that Scorch Trio has. Melaza, their latest effort, does nothing to thwart that idea, despite a change in the band’s makeup. Drummer Frank Rosaly has taken over for Paal Nilssen-Love, but he doesn’t miss a step coming into the fold. The playing here is dynamic and powerful, often as immediate in its punch as it is intricate in its wandering. Raoul Bjorkenheim’s guitar can shred or glide or cluster—hear him do all three successively on “Bambalan”—and Ingebrigt Haker Flaten’s bass is both a rumbling foundation and a curious, snapping oddity. Melaza can be a shock, but it’s also a delightful surprise all the way through. Vacillating between chaotic rundowns and syncopated runs, the band builds an off-kilter groove that never settles in, and you end up bedding yourself down in the sweet discomfort of it all. The songs here are all named after Puerto Rican slang words, and it’s a fitting trick the way they seem tossed off, even careless, when really they’re considered and carefully built. In the end, their wordless meaning runs pretty deep.

Rating:

Matthew Fiander is a music critic for PopMatters and Prefix Magazine. He also writes fiction and his work has appeared in The Yalobusha Review. He received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from UNC-Greensboro and currently teaches writing and literature at High Point University in High Point, NC. You can follow him on Twitter at @mattfiander.


Tagged as: melaza | rune grammofon
Related Articles
23 Jun 2008
Rock instruments take free-jazz flight in this incendiary third album from the Norwegian trio.
Comments
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.