Sound Scene Express

Squonk Opera “Pneumatica” Album Review

Squonk Opera
Released 10-11-2014

As a live show, Pneumatica is an inventive and original masterpiece. A rock show with allure. Equipped with a 40 foot tall pillar, known as lady Pneumatica, this show is meant for the outdoor, open air. The performance revolves around the concept of air. Air to power inflatables, that tower over the audience, air to transform costumes, air to operate instruments and air to bring Lady Pneumatica to life.

With the release of the Pneumatica album, one might wonder how the squonkers are going to bottle up the energy of their live shows on an 8 track album. A lot of things could fall flat. With no steam, smoke rings, gas masks or bells and whistles, the crew had their work cut out.

Pneumatica, the album, is undoubtedly as captivating as their live show. Each track makes you feel like you are part of the action. Some top musicians were recruited to make the sound come to life, like David Wallace’s killer guitar solos especially on the opening track, “Exhale.” Steve O’Hearn makes his first appearance with the electric bagpipes during “Whirlwinding.” His playing is majestic, and makes you feel as if Lady Pneumatica is rising from the depths.

O’Hearn is one half of the creative genius behind the Pneumatica concept, along with Jackie Dempsey who plays keyboards and the lungcordian, which makes up the lungs of Lady Pneumatica, featured on “Skitter and Blast.” Squonk Opera is also rounded out with world travelled bassist Nathan Wilson and master drummer Kevin Kornicki.

O’Hearn and Dempsey’s musical brilliance really shines on “A Cloud of Grey.” The song could easily stand alone in the last stage of a video game, where a hero character fights to the end with the boss villain.

If you are looking to relive one of the magical, Pneumatica performances from the summer of 2014 or just looking for some great music by top level musicians this album is for you.

Also, if you missed Squonk Opera’s several dates over the summer, be sure to check out Pneumatica next spring and summer, as dates have already been booked on the road. You can purchase Pneumatica at CD Baby.

Squonk Opera at Three Rivers Arts Festival

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