Live, Vol. 1: Rise Up

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Anyway you slice it, Entrain's live debut has a whole buttload of percussion. Everything the band does on the 11 tracks of its live disc revolves around this facet of the group. The songs move through myriad genres of worldbeat, funk, rock, and folk. Ultimately, though, they blend into one sound, nearly indistinguishable from one track to the next, that might be considered the essence of Entrain. It's a safe, textural groove -- reminiscent of Rusted Root, though less Middle Eastern, as well as some of the later-period Grateful Dead's stadium romps -- that can surely be exciting to witness live. There is little development in the improvisation, though, and -- outside matters of rhythm -- the communication within the band seems fairly pedestrian. There is very little movement, either in terms of linear progression or sonic depth.

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