Yoke Shire

A Seer in the Midst

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Rock fans who got hooked on Yoke Shire with their 1999 debut A Seer in the Midst had to wait four years before being told...they would have to wait longer. Indeed, the Massachusetts trio's 2002 CD A Seer in the Midst is a collection of remixed and live tracks -- a snack to help you hold on until the next meal. Masque of Shadows had set expectation levels very high and obviously a mixed bag of old and new tracks is not what we were hoping for. That said, the album contains interesting material. The first two tracks are brand new, but these trippy instrumental jams feel anticlimactic compared to what comes after. The "Maiden Voyage" trilogy, the debut album's magnum opus (at least in length), is given a full live treatment. Recorded at the CD's launch party, it extends the tune to a full 30 minutes. Sound quality is slightly below the group's average (the drums just don't hit as hard), but the delivery impresses, especially when you know these three guys don't use any pre-recorded material or samples. "The Brook, the Mirror and the Maiden" sees the lads get a bit self-indulgent, but it's all in good fun. The last four cuts have been heavily remixed and remastered from the group's 1995 demo EP. Hard-rocking and full-sounding, they would have featured nicely on Masque of Shadows, which is the best thing one can say about them! In any case, start with the previous album.

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