We Are In The Time Of Evil Clocks

by The Rebel Wheel

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about

We are in the Time of Evil Clocks was the third album from The Rebel Wheel and the second to be released through 10T records. It is many things but mostly it is a study in contrasts. Songs like "Scales", "Wordplay" and "Settling of Bones" are very tonal in nature and follow a fairly traditional poppy song structure. Contrasting that are songs like the title pieces book-ending the album, which are more electro-acoustic outings than anything else, although even here after the electronic intro, the verses of part 1 are dissonant and odd-metered whereas the choruses are tonal and in common time.

The epic piece "Discoverie of Witchcraft" exemplifies this contrast in an even more direct manner. The piece is cast in seven movements. Basically it follows a symphony form of four movements, the first being a sonata-allegro, the second a sonata-rondo, the third a scherzo and the last another sonata form, but these four large pieces are interrupted by three small folk-song styled acoustic pieces (Hags 1,2 and 3). The four larger pieces all use tone-rows as the basis for their composition and while exuding a hard-rock aggression and flaunting a plethora of odd-metered riffage, are at their core, atonal 12-tone compositions. The smaller Hags pieces are strictly diatonic and strongly rooted in a key. These disparate timbres contrast each other strongly and cause a strong motion of tension and release.

The idea for the epic suite, Discoverie of Witchcraft was inspired by Robertson Davis' A Mixture Of Frailties, and like the story uses texts from Ben Jonson's Masque of Queens and is framed around Reginald Scot's sceptical book, The Discoverie Of Witchcraft. Unlike the composer in the story I use a lot of wrong-note dissonance.

The idea for the Evil Clocks frame work was Nick Brisebois who at 11 had written and illustrated an interesting story called We Are In The Time Of Evil Clocks.

The album was recorded by the band live off the floor (as much as possible) in various studios around Ottawa. They returned to Shattered Wing for some of it, did a whole lot at Fiction Music Productions and also recorded a fair bit in sax/vocalist Angie MacIvor's rehearsal studio. With the exception of Settling of Bones, which was all played by David Campbell and sung by Ange, the band used no click tracks and let a certain amount of tempo disparity reign. Even at that, the groove is solid and when David tempo mapped some songs in mixing (to have delays follow the beat etc.) it was found that the tempi varied very little in the course of, in some cases, an eight minute excursion. Nathan Mahl members (a band David was also in at the time and Claude had been in previously) were guest musicians on "Evil Clocks Part 1" and "Scales of the Ebony Fish". Artist Francis Dupuis did the graphics. More information on the recording process can be found on the band's blog

The album was released on June 16th 2010 and has been the band's most successful outing. On the strength of that album they were invited to play Progday, Rosfest, Progtoberfest, The Nuance festival, and over thirty gigs in Canada and the States.

credits

released June 16, 2010

David Campbell-guitars, vocals, bass, keyboards
Aaron Clark-drums
Angie MacIvor-sax, vocals, keyboards
Claude Prince-bass
Guy Dagenais-fretless bass on Evil Clocks P1
Guy LeBlanc-keyboards on Scales
Rick Barkhouse-keyboards on Invitation to the Dance

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about

The Rebel Wheel Ottawa, Ontario

Steeped in dark cinematic soundscapes and complex, turn-on-a-dime arrangements, The Rebel Wheel features a frenetic mix of rock aggression, complex compositions and unpredictable odd-meter vamps. Originally formed in 1991 as a fusion-based midi ensemble, the floating lineup has gradually focused on a modern, more performance-oriented, genre-blending Prog. ... more

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Track Name: Evil Clocks P1
Outside, outside. I remember, I remember everything.
Track Name: Klak
Geordie Robertson 2008

My baby klaks, like the teeth of a shotgun cow,

dead meat, hits the killing floor.

My baby ticks, like a deathwatch beetle,

waiting patiently beneath, linoleum.

I dreamt I was homeless, wandering the strange avenues

In a daze lost and lonely, I called out for you.

My baby fucks, fucks like a hurricane,

tearing up the coastline at, break-neck speed.

My baby fucks, fucks like a hurricane,

tearing up the coastline at, break-neck speed.

I dreamt I was homeless, wandering the strange avenues

In a daze lost and lonely, I called out for you.

I dreamt I was home lying in, your arms like a child.

Until laughing and loved I, kissed you awake.
Track Name: Wordplay
Wordplay Angie MacIvor 2009

Disturbing the heart and the head,a heaviness descends.

Words spoken in a tongue of flame.

The three-eyed demon of, lust, envy and deceit;it knows your name.

Close your eyes, nothing will be the same.

Close your heart, only way to escape the pain.

Pull away, retreat into yourself.

If you feel nothing you won't feel your own heart break.

Inspiring deep feelings of dread, another chapter ends.

Mere tokens in a heartless game.

The three sweet angels, fall on their knees and cry, they cry in vain.

Close your eyes, nothing will be the same.

Close your heart, only way to escape the pain.

Pull away, retreat into yourself.

If you feel nothing you won't feel your own heart break.

Disturbing the head and the heart, like actors playing a part,

words spoken in a strangers tongue.

Inspiring deep feelings of dread, another chapter ends,'til the story begins again.

Close your eyes, nothing will be the same.

Close your heart, only way to escape the pain.

Pull away, retreat into yourself.

If you feel nothing you won't feel your own heart break.
Track Name: Scales Of The Ebony Fish
Scales of the ebony fish, the blind poet's wish, as the cities lie dying.

Tales of the mariner's rime, the song of a time, the dawn of denying.

And this, the moment of naught when all that we've got

are the bones of past movement.

This, the age of decay, the era when day,

is no different than night.
Track Name: The Discoverie of Witchcraft P1 Convent
Part 1: Convent
From Ben Jonson's (1572-1637) The Masque Of Queens

Dame dame, the watch is set.
Quickly now we all are met.
From the lakes and from the fens,
from the rocks and from the dens,
from the woods and from the caves,
from the church-yards and the graves,
from the dungeon, from the tree,
that they died on, here are we.
Track Name: The Discoverie of Witchcraft P2 Hags 1
Part 2: Hags 1
From Ben Jonson's (1572-1637) The Masque Of Queens

I have been gathering wolves' hair,the mad-dog's foam and the adder's ears.
The spurgings of a dead man's eyes,and all since the evening star did rise.
I last night lay all alone on,the ground to hear a man-drake groan.
I plucked him up though he grew full low.And as I had done the cock did crow.
Under the cradle I did creep,by day and when the child was asleep.
I had a dagger; what did I with that? Killed the infant to have her fat.
Track Name: The Discoverie of Witchcraft P3 Mad Night
Part 3: Mad Night,
From Ben Jonson's (1572-1637) The Masque Of Queens

The owl is abroad, the bat and the toad,and so is the cat-a-mountain.
The ant, the mole sit both in a hole,and frog peeps out of the fountain.
The dogs do bay and timbrels play, the spindle now is turning.
The moon is red, the stars have fled, but all the sky is burning.
Track Name: The Discoverie of Witchcraft P4 Hags 2
Part 2: Hags 1
From Ben Jonson's (1572-1637) The Masque Of Queens

I have been gathering wolves' hair,the mad-dog's foam and the adder's ears.
The spurgings of a dead man's eyes,and all since the evening star did rise.
I last night lay all alone on,the ground to hear a man-drake groan.
I plucked him up though he grew full low.And as I had done the cock did crow.
Under the cradle I did creep,by day and when the child was asleep.
I had a dagger; what did I with that? Killed the infant to have her fat.
Track Name: The Discoverie of Witchcraft P6 Hags 3
Part 6: Hags 3
From Ben Jonson's (1572-1637) The Masque Of Queens

The scritch-owl's eggs and the feathers black.
Blood of the frog and the bones in his back.
The worm in the mouth of the dog's remains.
I killed a black cat and here are the brains.
I went to the toad breeds under the wall.
I charmed him out and he came at my call.
I scratched out the eyes of the owl before.
I tore the bat's wings; what would you have more.
Yes I have brought to help our vows, horned poppy and cypress boughs.
The fog-tree wild that grows on tombs,and juice that from the larch-tree comes.
Basilick's blood and the viper skin.
And now our orgies let's begin.