Local CD Review: , Distant

, Distant

, Distant (Prismatic Music)

The members of the new prog-fusion trio , Distant (yes, that's the correct punctuation, according to the band) are all veterans of the Knoxville music scene, with years of collective experience in bands ranging from the Pop Rox, the Jaystorm Project, and the Accidentals to Medford's Black Record Collection. After biding their time as sidemen, though, they're abandoning the commercial weekend bar circuit with , Distant. The new band draws on '70s eggheads (Yes, Red-era King Crimson, jazz fusion, and even a little Frank Zappa) and more contemporary sources (Radiohead, the Dismemberment Plan) for an iconoclastic sound that's taken a surprisingly long time to emerge in a city populated by dozens of jazz-school graduates every year. The trio's self-titled debut is a player's record—the long songs, which average more than six minutes, give each musician (guitarist/vocalist Sevan Takvoryan, bassist Jon Augustus, and drummer Dave Whitaker) room to stretch, which they do without showing off too much. The mood is serene, but not static; Takvoryan creates massive chilled-out slabs of ambience and bracing stabs of subtle pyrotechnics with his guitar while the rhythm section embellishes its steely, jazzy rhythms with delicate flourishes of musicianship. A sturdy debut that promises plenty of brain-warping in a live setting.