Larval is a avant/post-rock instrumental band consisting of an ever changing lineup of some of the best musicians in Detroit. Led by composer Bill Brovold, Larval's experimental rock often combines wall-of-sound guitars, bass and drums with saxes and violin, and is very direct and powerful. Founded in 1996, after Bill had spent five years performing with experimental /no wave legend Rhys Chatham, this is Larval's fifth album and the two disc set showcases two side of the band's work. Disc one is their new studio recording, which is an amalgamation of styles and approaches to music, from quiet and limpidly beautiful passages to an aggressive onslaught of screaming horns, guitars and strings, moving from very controlled passages to almost complete chaos and back, all the while following a master plan of intent. The second disc is compiled from 7 years of potent live recordings; here, as anyone who has experienced Larval live knows, the band eschew some of the more quieter moments that are on the studio albums, and just rock loud and hard!
"These live recordings reflect the efforts of all 45+ members that have passed through the Larval camp. There were several shows recorded, some on better equipment than others, and some great shows with lousy recording gear. Alive Why? is the result of repeated listening while trying to come up with pieces that had the best energy and were also recorded well enough to make it onto CD." - Bill Brovold.
"...powerful, emotional music that succeeds in establishing their own distinct creative niche. Highly recommended." - All Music Guide
"...it's plainly evident that Larval would rather lend a more human presence to experimental rock than dazzle.... [The] band completely eschews solos, or any other display of instrumental might.... Larval are willing to sacrifice the glory of the individual for a tightly wound whole." - Pitchfork
released February 6, 2007
SURVIVING DEATH [1-9]
Bill Brovold - guitars (all tracks), bass (1-3), drums (1, 3), organ (5), piano (6)
Mary Alice - piano (5)
Dan Bennett - saxes (7, 8)
Gus Brovold - saxes (4)
Greg Courtney - guitars (4, 6)
John Evans - saxes (2, 4, 6, 9)
Erik Gustafson - guitars (9)
Bob Hecker - bass (6, 9)
James Ilgenfritz III - bass (8)
Ryan Kush - drums (6)
Luke Mcauley - saxes (2, 4, 9), piano & penny whistles (3)
Marko Smith - drums (2, 8, 9)
Ryan Pritts - tympani (4)
Toby Summerfield - guitars (4, 8)
Alfred Turner - bass (4)
Kurt Zimmerman (1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9)
ALIVE WHY? [10-19]
Bill Brovold - guitars (all tracks)
Gus Brvold - saxes (11, 13, 14)
Thor Brovold - bass (15)
Gregg Courtney -guitar (10, 12, 15, 16, 18, 19)
James Ilgenfritz III - bass (11, 13, 14, 16, 19)
Ryan Kush - drums (16, 19)
Luke Mcauley - saxes (10, 12, 15, 18)
Scott Olzak - drums (10, 12, 15, 18)
Jason Shearer - saxes (16, 19)
Marko Smith - drums (11, 13, 14, 17)
Toby Sumerfeld - guitar (11, 13, 14, 17)
Alfred Turner - bass (12, 15, 18)
Kurt Zimmerman - violin (all tracks except 15, 17), guitar (15)
10, 12, 15, 18 were recorded at two different shows at Xhedos, Ferndale, MI, 2006.
11, 13, 14 were recorded at the Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland, OH, 1999.
16, 19 were recorded at the Beachland Ballroom, Celeveland Oh, 2001.
17 was recorded at the Kerrytown Concert House, Ann Arbor, MI, 2002.