Live Review
by SashaS

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  More on: Æon Spoke

Æon Spoke at London’s Kabbalah
  News - 5-7-2005
Æon Spoke: soft rocking for thinkers
Live: Æon Spoke
Kabbalah Centre, London
Wednesday, July 6, 2005
Ćon Spoke: melancholic pop-rock for any creed

A very special gig took place at a rather unusual venue last night: Ćon Spoke performed at London’s Kabbalah Centre. This American quartet are visiting to gig several dates to introduce live their new single ‘Emmanuel’ [featured in the film 'What the Bleep Do We Know?', starring Marlee Matlin and currently playing throughout the U.K.]

So, they stand there on a makeshift stage in Central London and play songs that are melodic, evocative, catchy, thoughtful, intelligent… On surface it is a cousin of Coldplay - as well as infinitely better that Travis and Keane! - but there is something deeper going on. Perhaps we can tag it - spiritual pop. That is, hopefully, the extent of their Kabbalah connection; we don’t truly need any new kind of a ‘Christian rock’ variety.

The setlist includes tracks such as ‘Sand & Foam’, ‘No Answers’ [both available as MP3 on the band’s site], as well as ‘Emmanuel’ which was introduced by biggin’-up the movie that appears not to attract Brit public. Masvidal assured the present - the interest was so demanding there was a video link to another boardroom* - that it was a good movie and should be given a chance. [Ćon Spoke also had songs in ‘A Bride In Black‘ movie and the WB television series ‘Smallville’.]

Ćon Spoke is fronted by Paul Masvidal (vocals/guitar) who is backed by Evo (guitar), Chris Kringel (bass) and Sean Reinert (drums/backing vocals); none of them, including the singer, dominates the attention as the focus here is on music, songs. Masvidal and Reinert’s teenage-bonding [in Miami] was their first band Cynic that propelled them to indie bestseller status. Cynic went on to become the stuff of cults and web shrines dedicated to their influential and visionary prog-art rock-metal band. As the most requested reissue in the Roadrunner catalogue, the Cynic debut titled ‘Focus’ was re-released a few years back.

The pair relocated to Los Angeles and formed Ćon Spoke; based in the Silver Lake community of East LA, they rehearsed downtown before embarking on touring throughout California. They recorded a collection of songs that would festoon Ćon Spoke debut disc, ‘Above The Buried Cry’.

"Lyrically the record explores the depths of spiritual isolation that underlies the human condition," explains lead singer/lyricist via the press release. Masvidal had worked as a caretaker for the dying while writing the songs for this record, doing music therapy for transplant patients and other critically ill people. "I came to find out what was most important about living through working with the dying."

Ćon Spoke’s sound is thus equally earthy and ethereal: extorting dignity from tragedy, hope from despair, joy from pain and also reminding everyone that life’s failures and successes are monumental, precious and count ante-mortality. Song themes describe the naked senses of human experience and reflect on eternal questions of living and the meaning of...

Deceptively simple rhythms lay the foundation for soaring vocal melodies and otherworldly harmonic guitar textures with a trace of melancholia. Influences range from early classic folk/rock to many of the contemporary artists attempting to expand boundaries of emotional and spiritual in modern music.

Atmospheric, hypnotic, exquisite, tender and haunting are some critical attributes…

* Peculiarly enough this Centre is housed in the building where Chrysalis label used to be in their prime days of Blondie, Billy Idol, The Specials, Sinead O’Connor and, well, Jethro Tull.

Ćon Spoke’s single ‘Emmanuel’ is available now for Download via the band’s site

Ćon Spoke’s album ‘Above The Buried Cry’ is available via the website