The Great Leap Forward
Career Records is very pleased to announce the release of the fourth and most demanding album from the startling musical collective Donovan's Brain. Appropriately titled "The Great Leap Forward", the gravity of the new songs was strong enough to affect the album that proceeded it and the one that will follow.
One of the first songs recorded for the album, "Nuro Psych Trail Head" is an invitation to the listener and the members of the band to prepare for the journey that lies ahead. The album quickly takes a darker tone on "Crystal Palace" a song appropriated from bassist Jeff Arntsen's band Racket Ship. Megan Pickerel (ex-Swoon 23) duets with Jeff and adds the e-bow textures. Colter Langan's compositions on this record are his strongest to date. "All Fall Down" and "Cloud Maker" were recorded in one session while Donovan's Brain were rehearsing for the Seattle Terrastock. Richard Treece pulls off a career best solo on the latter.
Deniz Tek has been keeping close tabs on the Brain's activities for a several years. During the two year recording process he offered several crucial suggestions, and let it be known he would be interested in lending a hand. In the end he gladly accepted the offer to play and sing on several songs. His guitar lines on "All Fall Down" carry a hint of the Flamin' Groovies, a band that toured with Radio Birdman and have been a major influence on Colter and Ron. 'The Ballad Of Where's Jim" was recorded for "Tiny Crustacean Light Show" but was never finished. Determined to resurrect the track for "Leap", new lyrics were written to tell the story of the departure of two members of Donovan's Brain. Deniz took up the challenge and sang the song in one take.
When Donovan's Brain regrouped in January 2000, Colter and Ron were sure that the new line up offered the band many new musical possibilities. Drummer Ron Craighead and multi instrumentalist Jeff Arntsen are both seasoned players, and fantastic singers. "Loving Indifference" is the result of the first attempt at a group composition. It's quickly become a regular in the set list.
"All Over The World" and "My Little Town" are two more from the "Tiny Crustacean Light Show" sessions. Deemed too psychedelic for the straight ahead concept, they were reworked with the new members for inclusion on 'The Great Leap Forward". Dave Walker's vocals on both of these give the songs an authentic taste of 1968. Work on "Human Is" began in 1992, and continued right up to mixing session. This bit of stream of conscious music and lyric features a guitar duel between Ron and Ricky Treece.
"Following Orders" was written by Colter while he was temporarily relocated in Boise. The idea was that he would record his tracks and send them back to the band in Bozeman to complete. "The Known Sea" and "The Ocean Of Storms" were the first two songs recorded for the album and set the tone for all that was to come afterwards. "The Known Sea" features the most complex piece of music on the album. Malcolm Morley (ex-Man, Help Yourself) contributes the zither-like sounds to the quartet interlude. Deniz adds the very atypical guitar solo and Megan Pickerel returns for the ethereal vocal ending.
"The Ocean Of Storms" expands on this end theme to become Dave Walkers showpiece. This song about death and redemption is quite possibly the high point of his forty year career and an emotional finale to album.
"The Great Leap Forward" finds Donovan's Brain capturing the essence of their previous albums, but at the same time putting a new, unique and unified stamp on that sound.