CD Review

Transcendence – “Nothing is Cohesive”

By Marcus Pan

Nothing is CohesiveShortening the name up a bit from the previous album's Ed Hale and Transcendence here as Nothing is Cohesive is released. Hale is of course still here, still singing and still leading the eclectic Floridian rockers. Nothing is Cohesive is the band's third release, and following their previous Rise and Shine has seemed to have gone...backwards. Recorded exclusively in the band's garage studio with no producer to speak of and a rather small production budget, many of the tracks come across as muddied, unfinished and possibly studio-floor cut outs that were patched together haphazardly. Hence, I guess, the name: Nothing is Cohesive. Certainly truth in advertising.

There's some decent ditties here. Somebody Kill the DJ for example is a decent tune, but you'll have to slog through some clichés floaty keyboards to get to it, even if it's nice once you do. Somebody Kill the DJ is certainly a Transcendence song with Hale's soft vocals and bright melodies wrapping around. Meanwhile I Wanna Know Ya, which immediately follows a muddily provided ending to Somebody Kill, the group takes on a classic rock and Rolling Stone sound. The song, however, closes with Ed asking to "let's listen" to what was just recorded and it's moments like these that make me wonder why the group has produced this CD alone. It gives the whole CD a solidly unprofessional feel and really created an anti-climactic and unfinished end to I Wanna Know Ya; otherwise a great song.

You'll find this unfinished feel all over Nothing is Cohesive, which is what deadens the CD against previous work like Rise and Shine which were quite good. From the cheezy opening to Tomorrow to similar closings with Ed talking to the band during rehearsal at the end of other tunes besides I Wanna Know Ya (Caetano for example), it really kills the professionalism of the release as a whole. Come On is very like work on their previous CD, complete with falsetto vocals and swift rock and roll guitars and percussion.

And All This is Beginning to Feel Like an Ending is one of Ed's classic piano ballads. On track 11 is an unnamed cacophony of unnecessary samples, feedback and tweakings which will annoy you prior to going into another piano ballad by the name of Softening. Not as comparably good as Transcendence's previous work on this and other albums, Softening comes out sounding more like an afterthought than a single as it fades into childish oohs at the end and also includes one of those surprise rehearsal space endings we've spoke of before.

The end result of Nothing is Cohesive is that there's so much potential here and the talent in Transcendence has always been obvious. But I'm not sure if the lack of cohesiveness throughout the CD is something that the band should have used, whether part of the album's namesake or not. I know for a fact that this band create great music as we've seen it in the past and can see it in doses here as well. Let's see if we can drop the one step forward two steps back mentality and next time bring a producer in to polish and erase the unfinished and muddy nature for next time.

Contact Information:
Ariel Publicity
Post: 325 West 38th St., Suite 505, New York, NY, 10018, USA
Phone: (212) 239-8384

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