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Proof of Utah Discography: HAPPY TO BE HERE
This Ohio group's third lp is an imaginative and appealing collection of musical insights.
Chances are that the record is only going to be known in underground/experimental
circles (this, so far, is a W. German only release). That's really too bad, because to
me this is a wonderful pop, albeit strange pop, record that truly deserves to be popular.
Don't expect any jiggly guitar, mechanical rhythms or banal lyrics in Proof of Utah's
pop--saxophones and clarinets are sometimes as important musical instruments for this
band as guitars, basses and drums. The music is a smart, natural and confident blend of quirky melodies, elements of jazz and folk, and funny, storytelling lyrics. The approach is low-key, yet full of small delights and surprises. In this world so full of interpreters and copycats, it`s nice to know that these innovators exist. -OPTION
Another example of "fractured rock" is Happy To Be Here, by Proof of Utah. Proof of Utah (does anybody really doubt it exists?) is perhaps equal parts early Mothers of Invention, Devo, and some of the German experimentalists. P.O.U. is more elaborate than most Zappa-wanna-be's, however, due to the addition of a very competent horn section. At the center of the fray are Mike Brosco (voice, guitars, bass, keyboards) and Louie Simon (voice, drums, percussion). Bass is actually the loudest instrument, with Brosco's half-spoken lyrics nextmost-prominent. A sense of humor and some sizzling instrumental sections make me happy to have it here.
I think it would be best to withhold all judgments on best album of the year until everyone has heard Happy To Be Here, Proof of Utah's amazing third lp. Recently transplanted from Ohio, Proof of Utah seems ecstatic in their new bio-environment. A mature, international sound is captured on Happy, with explosive results. Imagine Frank Zappa, Syd Barrett, and Camper Van Beethoven whipped up in a blender and served on a plate of jazz. That's what Happy sounds like. There's a huge musical tradition out there that Proof of Utah is playing with, not merely adding to. But the sound on Happy is uniquely their own. It's not like anything else I've heard, and it is certainly impossible for it to become trendy or the next big thing. Instead, it's just brilliant. Demand this album from your local distributor.-No Cover
Proof of Utah is a band as odd as their name, and the music they make is distinctly original. Simon and Brosco are obviously guys who enjoy messing around in the studio. The songs on Happy to be Here employ all manner of strange arrangements and textures to convey the message. But this is not strangeness for strangeness' sake. Though it is readily apparent that these guys are having lots of fun, it is also apparent they've worked very hard. Despite the skewed, frivolous feel of the music, close listening reveals careful, complex structures to the songs and an unusual attention to detail. There's so much going on here that each listening draws your attention to something new. The end result is a quite enjoyable album. If Proof of Utah is, as they say, happy to be here, then we're fortunate to have them.-The Daily Illini