Ultraviolet Hippopotamus (UV HIPPO) w/The Station

Ultraviolet Hippopotamus carves themselves a niche sound of its own with sometimes silly, often genuinely heartfelt lyrics coupled with compelling composition and explosive instrumentation. The music created by this five piece band from Grand Rapids, Michigan is progressively diverse, often switching between genres throughout the course of a show, sometimes even through the duration of a song. Their live shows have become an avenue for the band to build upon the core of their songs, exploring new ground, creating tension and taking risks for those moments of pure musical ecstacy, giving fans an original experience within every show.

The Station

Musical worlds colorfully collide in the form of The Station. Paired in a music scene long-dominated by excessive, guitar-heavy outfits dropping into 10-minute jam after jam of trading solos, they have been able to discover a newly-formed and rarely traveled crevice in today's wall of sound. While guitar-rich in essence, The Station has managed to produce a sound void of the same all-too similar, stagnant riffs. Somewhere tastefully aligned between the progressive rock style of Geddy Lee's Rush, American hard rock, the latter days of John Coltrane and the many fiery incarnations of saxophonist extraordinaire Skerik lie The Station.

At the core, this seasoned quartet is a straight-ahead rock band; not necessarily in the traditional sense, more so as a basis for beginning a description. Perhaps most intriguing is the dexterity the four members (Dave Littrell - Sax, guitar, vocals; newest member Howard Frietag - lead guitar, vocals; Jeff Cunningham - bass, vocals; Dave Carter - drums, percussion, vocals) possess with their respective instruments. In the increasingly overwhelming jam scene, a scene stuffed with too many of the same flavors, The Station delves into a different path, incorporating a deep rooted rock sound with seductive sax and precision playing. Relying heavily on concise compositions spotlighting varying song structures, timing and progressions, The Station veers away from the norm, instead vying to tackle complex arrangements filled with metal-tinged textures. They perform thinking-mans music, a colorful concoction of diverse sounds fused together into an elaborate brew.

Rounded out by four part vocal harmonies and one of the most tight-knit rhythm sections around, The Station is able to develop and deliver a multitude of sounds. Most noticeable in the band's impressive sound is their knack for song writing. Challenging compositions are capably conquered by a group of musicians who dare to discover new sonic depths. Without fear, they deliver focused, melodiously mesmerizing forays, taking elements of the past (think Led Zeppelin and Frank Zappa) and fusing them with slivers of metal and funk.

Where the complications arise is in a complete and definitive definition. With the Prog Rock scene already risen and fallen and the jam band scene encompassing everything from The Roots to The Grateful Dead, placing a finger on The Station sound is daunting: It envelops little facets of all that lies in-between. Delta blues couple with American funk, meshing with 80's metal and a touch of Tortoise. Taken together, they envelop a wide swath of modern music, combining influences to produce a decadent sound that's intriguing to ears of all types of listeners. "We're really trying to infuse progressive rock and metal into the rock/funk genre" says Carter.

Now in their 10th year and with two new members, The Station finds themselves reinvigorated and replenished, steadily moving forward with a healthy dose of live performances from throughout the country and ample new song writing. After already releasing a few EPs and four full length albums-2001's FUMUNDA, all that lies between... (2004) and Playground (2005), and the Homegrown Music Networks 2009 Live Album of the Year "Speed of Sound". After the band was recognized and revered as one of Jambase's Top Ten Road Dogs of 2006 & 2007 The Station is gearing down the national touring to instead spend more time writing and in the studio while continue to perform in their stomping grounds of the Midwest.

Instrumentation Dave Littrell - Sax, guitar, vocals. Howard Frietag, lead guitar, vocals. Jeff Cunningham, bass, vocals. Dave Carter, drums, percussion, vocals.

Discography "FUMUNDA" (2001 studio), "all that lies between..." (2004 studio), "Playground" (2005 studio), and "Speed of Sound" (2008 double live)

$6.00 - $8.00


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Ultraviolet Hippopotamus (UV HIPPO) w/The Station with The Station

Saturday, October 12 · Doors 9:00 PM at Cicero's