4Front: Malice in Wonderland
Produced by 4Front
Recorded, Mixed, and Mastered by Zak Rizvi
Assistant Engineers: Leo McClusky, Brent Corona
Joe Bergamini: Drums
Frank LaPlaca: Bass
Zak Rizvi: Guitars, Keyboards
All tracks published and administered by Third Reel Music (ASCAP)
Art Direction and Design by Hugh Syme
Recorded at Star City Recording Company, Bethlehem PA, & Brooklyn Mountain, Hopatcong NJ, February 2006-September 2011
Mixed and Mastered at Brooklyn Mountain, September-November 2011
This is 4Front's third album, and our most ambitious (from a musical-complexity standpoint), thus far. Since this is instrumental music and can be interpreted in countless ways, we're just going to list briefly some of the things we were thinking about when writing and working on the songs…
Zak: I think of each song as a single dream within a night’s worth of really vivid dreams & nightmares… Mine always began with a monster chasing me and almost always ended aboard an out-of-control train (or plane). First song begins as you fall asleep and last song ends just as you wake.
1. BIG SCARY MONSTER
Zak: Only just fallen asleep and already being chased by a monster in a dream… Can’t quite make it out cause I’m too busy running for my life, but I know it’s BIG… Very busy song, hopefully makes you feel a little out of breath
Zak: I was just thinking a view of the Earth from space…
3. HAIRLESS APE
Joe: This song has a lot of technical elements to it, like its 17/8 main groove, but is also aggressive and heavy... like an iron fist in a velvet glove, or like the human animal: sophisticated, but still a creature of instinct and primal urges: a hairless ape!
4. SHADOWS OF DOUBT
Joe: The opening of this song reflects the foreboding of the upcoming adventure you’re about to embark on (standing on the train platform, waiting to begin an arduous journey), and takes you through the feelings of boarding the train and starting a trip into the unknown.
5. HALF NIGHT
Zak: Title was inspired by a phrase from David Lynch’s “Mulholland Drive” that describes a hyper dream state that’s somewhere between night and day… Musically this one is really inspired by Thomas Dolby.
6. THE WASTELANDS EXPRESS
Zak: Title refers to a homicidal, suicidal, talking train named Blaine (no I’m not kidding) featured in Stephen King’s great Dark Tower novels. The train considers itself the world’s greatest riddler and will kill its occupants if they cannot it stump it with a riddle. Definitely a bit of train theme running thru the album.
7. CRESCENT MOON
Joe: The title just came from the feeling of walking outside through various landscapes at night, under dim moonlight… a feeling I got from hearing all the parts of the song.
8. MANY PLACES IN A RUSH
Zak: An homage to my all time heroes, Rush. The intro was inspired by Circumstances, and most of the rest of the tune is strongly influenced by the Grace Under Pressure / Power Windows era… Tom Sawyer-esque fade out.
9. BARROW ST.
Zak: A great tavern in Greenwich Village where I spent many a late night hanging out with friends and interesting strangers… The tune hopefully captures a “New York at night” kinda vibe
10. RUNAWAY TRAIN
Zak: Nothing subtle about this one – you’re stuck on a train, it’s out of control, you can’t stop it, and you know it’s going to crash… But you jolt awake just before the impact. Yup, it was all just a dream… (Note: David Rosenthal, Joe's bandmate in Happy the Man--who has also played with Billy Joel, Rainbow, and Steve Via--plays a synth solo on this song.)