The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Currents

November 9, 2012

Theoretically speaking: Idiosyncratic band String Theory releases CD

String theory, in the scientific sense, attempts to bind the properties of quantum mechanics with general relativity.

Heavy mental lifting indeed.

String Theory, in the musical sense, is an idiosyncratic, area three-piece band -- sans percussion -- that has melded elements of folk, rock, gypsy jazz and blues into an existential exploration of music and theme in their latest CD release “What’s the matter with Captain Gravitone?”

Heavy stuff in its own right.

“It’s definitely risky,” said Eli Hoehn, co-founder of the band that is hosting a CD release party Saturday at the Red Sky Lounge. “It’s about this idea of a superhero who is having an existential issue. ... He’s gone into the future with his superpowers and he’s found nothing there. All the good he’s done never has an impact down the road.”

Wayne Schmidt started the band with Hoehn about four years ago before adding Jason Helder last year, He added: “It’s the kind of music where you could almost close your eyes and imagine something theatrical.”

Exploring ‘Gravitone’

The band’s philosophical underpinnings become apparent on the first track as “Divisible By One/In My Mind” introduces listeners to the tormented title character. Showcasing the band’s nimble musicianship and penchant for unexpected tempo changes and transitions, the lyrics begin to lay a thematic groundwork for Gravitone’s inner dilemma:

“And down inside/ Something in me longs for leaving/ Still I’m bound to stay here in this place/ Face to face with modern living.”

The all-instrumental title track dresses Gravitone in musical melancholy before “Darkness” drops him off at the door of despair: “I regret the hell/ And all the years I’ve thrown away/ In trying to help everyone else/ Because they never seem to learn to help themselves.”

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