Rubberneck Review: Hunger's Teeth

Imagine Jon Anderson fronting an American avant-garde rock group (but maybe he did get close to the edge on parts of Tales and Relayer!). Hunger's Teeth is the most exciting rock album I've heard this year. No, not Anderson exactly, but Robert Drake's vocals do bear a striking resemblance to the Yes man's "angelic" tenor. Is this "progressive rock" for the '90's? A celebration of intricately layered arrangements and polyrhythmic playing, effortlessly combining '70's grandeur with avant-rock, contemporary collage and computing - and only one track in 11 over six minutes! The musicianship (also David Kerman and Sanjay Kumar, plus guests) is superb, not showy, always at the service of the experimental approach to song structure - lots of convoluted instrumental passages that return almost miraculously to "refrains". Brilliant. —Chris Blackford