After Morphine singer-bassist Mark Sandman's untimely fatal heart attack in 1999, the remaining members -- saxophonist Dana Colley and drummer Billy Conway -- formed the nine-piece Morphine Orchestra. And now, from the Orchestra they pulled vocalist Laurie Sargent and started the Twinemen, named for one of Sandman's cartoon drawings. Morphine played a bluesy film-noirish rock that was unique and original not for its lack of guitar but more so because the band pushed the envelope of the form. From dark, sexy and sultry songs to jazzy beat poet soundtracks, the band chiseled out its own niche and gathered a fervent following among the alt-rock crowd. So while the Twinemen have a hefty résumé to live up to, they succeed in their current incarnation by using the minimalist Morphine foundation as a starting point for their musical progressions. All of the band members sing, and Sargent occasionally picks up guitar, while Colley is prone to taking turns on piano, guitar or bass in addition to his tenor and baritone saxes. They're equally comfortable dealing out concise snatches of weighty pop-flavored sketches and stretching it out with eerie, trance-inducing pieces, but whether they're down in the groove like Fela or intersecting with Sun Ra's weird universe, the only constant is that they aren't contained by earthly boundaries.
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