String Cheese Incident

Give this Colorado band credit for creating an audience, a label and managing the complex business of being musicians with no corporate or major-label interference. So why isn’t the music on this disc, which is pleasant and competently played, not as distinctive and energetic as it is when the band plays live? Most of these studio cuts, with their pallid echoes of the Allman Brothers, Little Feat and the Dead, seem interchangeable. These songs are all originals and the band does not have a distinctive singer; could be the problem. Only on “Sing a New Song” and the 11-minute “Rollover” does String Cheese Incident hit a groove that sustains interest. The latter has the tempo/stylistic changes and dramatic buildup that are the hallmark of the Incident’s best concert performances. You’re better off to catch the band live, and take a listen to last year’s double live CD Carnival ’99.