Juggling 9 or Dropping 10

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The folks at the Inside Out Music America record label should be applauded for their keen productions and utilitarian contributions to the late-'90s/early-'00s progressive rock scene. Basically, the label's output is marked by sympathetic audio engineering along with a strong constitution for delving into a band's inherent qualities and tailoring or perhaps emphasizing certain attributes during the recording process. However, in certain instances the best engineering techniques and post-production glitz cannot circumvent subpar compositions and monotonous riffs that might be akin to a classic run-on sentence. With Juggling 9 or Dropping 10, the San Francisco Bay Area band known as Enchant gets out of the gate in a flurry with hard-driving beats, layered synths, and crunching guitars -- yet a sense of invariability prevails by midway through the album. Lead vocalist Ted Leonard possesses commendable range and a commanding presence, but the overall vibe translates into an exhibition teeming with pounding beats, massive crunch chords, and nondescript themes. And other than a few endearing electro-acoustic interludes, many of these pieces become caricatures of previously stated motifs, as the absence of distinctive melodies and firmly rooted implementations deter from the total listening experience, despite the musicians' laudable technical prowess.

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