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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. -Electronic Musician

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


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