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Triangle Exception  - H-Town                        8/10

By Eduard Antoniu

Triangle Exception - H-townEven though what you hear is mostly The Who and Todd Rundgren, this is not an easy pick. It took me several listens to get into the Philly/Minneapolis-based duo’s second release but it started growing on me already at the second, which speaks about its value.

H-Town, Triangle Exception are Philly-based Doug Darrell (vocals, guitar, bass) and Minneapolis-based Steve Wonchoba (vocals, keyboards, drums and drum programming). There is also Bryan Beller (bass) on “F. Cotton’s Shenanigans” (instrumental), my favorite track on the album, and Don Jones (harmonica) on “Olive Juice Pt. I”, a track that reminds of Peter Gabriel’s “Humdrum”.

The most interesting track on the album is “Olive Juice Pt. II”. You can hear some Wetton-Downes, In the Wake of Poseidon-era King Crimson, Pawn Hearts-era Van der Graaf Generator, After Crying. “Views Divided” and “For a Good Cause” come close, with Billy Sherwood-like vocal arrangements. “Wake Up and Close Your Eyes” includes some nice guitar work and electric piano. “Mopy Rick” is a title pun with Led Zeppelin’s “Moby Dick” but musically has nothing to do with it. It’s more like Gong and Doors.

“You Take the Bridge” is Keneallesque. “Behind the Scenes (Acoustic Melody)” is more like Coldplay. “hat.Advocacy” is like an ad on The Who Sell Out. In total, there are twelve original tracks clocking at a total of fifty minutes on this album. Added to these are remixes of two tracks (totaling 10 minutes) that were originally released on their Cheesesteak Walleye debut album: “Conformity” (metal) and “The Foreigner” (with Hackettian guitar in the beginning, going Lifesonian in the middle); plus a hidden, Gabrielesque narration (15 minutes). This one would have made perhaps more sense if divided and scattered between tracks, especially if somehow related to those tracks. And this is an aspect that is difficult to assess: the liner notes include “Lyrics & More @ TriangleException.com” but I haven’t been able to find them. They may be there later.

I befriended the band on MySpace one evening when Doug Darrell was carpooling, stuck in Philly’s traffic, backseat with his laptop. He then kindly showed me images of his whereabouts on a website. I seem to recognize some of them among the photos that were included in the CD’s cover artwork. Which makes me think he also contributed to it, too.

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Apr 20 09
And album design: In my haste, I forgot to credit myself for album layout, and myself and Steve for contributing all of the artwork :-) -Doug Darrell
10.0 / 10 Apr 20 09
Edi - thanks for the thoughtful review! Just thought I'd clarify some stuff: The lyric page link is a bit stealthy - we should probably include it along the side, and probably will shortly. At this time, it's located directly under the CDBaby purchase link for the album, on the Catalog page (currently the first page that opens when you browse to http://triangleexception.com/).

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