"The brainchild of guitarist Dave Miller, Algernon walks a thin line between melodically driven post-rock and instrumental unconventionality. The quintet, based in Chicago, has drawn comparisons to hometown compatriots Tortoise — thanks to a vibraphone and a few jazz-inflected melodies — but it very much has established its own voice, particularly on Ghost Surveillance, its sophomore album. This album places greater emphasis on synthesizers and sprawling song structures, but at its core is the combination of accessibility and technicality that has defined Miller’s style. Noisy, circular rock riffs transform to tranquil, wandering passages. “Timekiller,” the album’s fourth track, is a beautiful, buoyant number — and one of the band’s best creations to date. As always, the vibraphone work of percussionist Katie Wiegman offers a warm, harmonic accompaniment, but the group’s best-supporting player may be drummer Cory Healey, whose wild fills and drum-and-bass moments imbue Ghost Surveillance with explosive bursts of energy."
– ALARM (best albums of the week)
"Algernon draw inspiration from the jazz-tinged post-rock machinations of Tortoise, Chicago's foremost group in the genre. The group's style, however, veers into the louder and noisier elements of rock music. Led by composer/guitarist Dave Miller, Algernon uses two guitars, bass, drums and a vibraphone to combine gorgeous melodies with psychedelic effects and rock beats."
– Center Stage Chicago
"Algernon is one of those bands...that is pushing the boundaries of rock...and more to the perimeters. They obviously don't care if it can be pegged to a genre, they only care if it's good, and it is!"
– Jazz Chicago
released 26 January 2010
Algernon are one of Chicago's fastest rising young bands. All instrumental, they feature a unique line-up of dual guitars, vibes, bass and drums. The band is led by guitarist and composer Dave Miller. The other members of Algernon are second guitarist Toby Summerfield (who also was a member of Larval for many years), vibes player Katie Wiegman, bassist Tom Perona, and drummer Cory Healey. Miller formed Agernon as a way to combine a large number of influences of various types of music he liked in a unique way, without any one of them being the dominant sound. These influences include experimental rock (60s psychedelic rock, Jimi Hendrix, 13th Floor Elevators), kraut-rock (Harmonia, Can and Neu!), post-rock (Tortoise, Isotope 217, Chicago Underground, Godspeed!, Talk Talk) the late 70s art-punk and no-wave scene (Sonic Youth, Glenn Branca) and avant-garde jazz. A very important point about Algernon's music is despite Dave having a strong jazz background, Algernon is not a improvising band. The music that Dave writes for the group is basically wholly scored; there is a very small amount of improvisation and what improvisation there is, is more about atmosphere(s) than about solos.
Ghost Surveillance is Algernon's third album and is their first on a label able to reach a wider audience. Their music brings a lot of influences together in surprising and entertaining ways. A quick listen to the download sample will show you why we have such great enthusiasm for this band, as they manage to be quite accessible while pushing stylistic boundaries and exploring new paths.