Truly genre defying and impossible to categorize, IOEarth blended styles, ideas and emotions seemlessly into almost 100 minutes of music the likes of which had never been heard before. Starting with a seven minute piano and string piece entitled simply "Introduction", this debut album is set to surprise the listener with each new track. Immediately following the first piece is a guitar melody based tune remeniscent of Vai and Satriani, although the way in which Cureton approaches the performance sidesteps with ease the usual overplaying that can be found in any piece with such influences. The rest of the album continues on a journey of musical discovery, calling upon rock, jazz, dance, ambient, electronica, classical and other styles and blending them together into one cohesive and innovative whole.
Whether you are a fan of the power ballad, the guitar instrumental, ambient dance or orchestral pieces, there is something for you. Moreover, once you are pulled in, you'll begin to understand what Dave and Adam mean when they say that all styles and genres can contain interesting and provocative elements and you will find yourself enjoying even the pieces that are outside of your usual tastes.
With the release of their second album in 2012, it is obvious that their unique style is still growing and maturing and it is hard to think of anywhere that they cannot go with it.
With songs again ranging from powerful rock ballads to ambient dance grooves, mashed up with sweeping orchestral soundscapes and elements of Jazz to name but a few, it seems that these two artists have perfected their unique ability to blend the most unusual groups of genres and produce something that somehow still makes sense and remains pleasing to the ear and true to their own sound. Every new track comes with a sense of curiosity and excitement, the likes of which you experience with very few acts. You experience first hand that curiosity and sense of fun in their creative process and are drawn into the music with a constant need to know where they are going next.
IOEarth are unique in the way that their listeners, dubbed the "IOEarth Family" are included in their work. After such a large and unexpected response to their debut album in 2009 - an album which they have said was written for themselves, in the belief that it would be "too weird" to gain a following - they realized that nothing is too weird for the world of Progressive Rock, which immediately embraced them and welcomed this new innovative style of composition. It is easy to hear the effect that simply having this following had on them as a writing partnership when you hear the second album.
It is brimming with confidence and holds nothing back. From the majestic, sweeping guitar melodies and solos (often accompanied by a harmonizing soprano saxophone and sitting on a luxurious keyboard-built soundscape) to the spine tingling orchestral arrangements and samples of Winston Churchill, "Moments" keeps you captivated ... and on its conclusion at just over the 60 minute mark, leaves you wanting more!
Dave and Adam have put together an incredibly strong group of musicians to accompany their guitars and keys and through the complexity of their music, each band member has the opportunity to showcase their talents. Vocals are provided by Claire Malin, Luke Shingler brings in layers of sax and flute and the strong workhorse of the rhythm section comes from Christian Nokes on bass and Richard Cureton on drums.
Cureton and Gough have been very clever in their arrangements of their songs for live performance. Having realized that an exact duplication would be just about impossible for a six piece band, they have focused on the elements that make the songs what they are - strong, powerful and emotive, based in melody and feeling. IOEarth concerts have a real sense of purpose and fun which is sorely lacking in live performances these days. The open and playful presentation of the music results in a relaxed, inclusive vibe to the gigs, even in venues whose large capacity usually make that incredibly difficult.IOEarth are very much the "band of the moment", (pun most certainly intended) and the whole music industry, regardless of genre lies helpless before them! With recent gigs across Europe and in the United States gaining them more and more followers, their time is definitely upon us.