Ben Miller Laurence Miller Steve Smith Roger Miller
guitar and vocals drums trumpet bass and vocals
John Neilson - CREEM, Option, Matter, NY Rocker July 27th 2013A decade ago Mission Of Burma bucked the trend and became one of the rare instances of a rock band - one which had disbanded at the peak of their powers - reuniting and not only not sucking but going on to a whole second act, no less creative and vigorous than before. This year Roger pulled yet another neat trick, reuniting the high school band he had back in Ann Arbor with his twin younger brothers Benjamin and Laurence, and doing some select club dates that were not only not embarassing, but a positive revelation.
Sproton Layer at the Mercury Lounge this evening showed that the teen trio's sources were pretty close to the surface - lots of Interstellar Overdrive, some jagged Crimson riffing, a little 'out' jazz and plenty of late psych flourishes, including some Forever Changes trumpet blasts - but they made them into something of their own and delivered them with the benefit of 40+ years worth of hard-earned chops. It's definitely music of its time (1969-70), but you could hear plenty of premonitions of what they would go on to do in MOB, Destroy All Monsters and their other projects over the years. It also sounded convincingly contemporary for 2013, and how many people could say that about their high school band?
In a perfect world Sproton Layer, too, would pick up where they left off and carry on for a few more great records, but who knows if their other projects will allow that? In any case, if you get the chance to see them by all means go, you're in for a treat.
SPROTON LAYER was a psychedelic rock band based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. They thrived
We always thought the coolest gig possible would be at Ann Arbor's Hill Auditorium with Syd Barrett's Pink Floyd headlining,
"To know it by the Ozone."
NEW Re-Master from Germany
"WITH MAGNETIC FIELDS DISRUPTED"
See CONCERT SCHEDULE for their Reunion Concert Information
The mastering for the 2011 World in Sound release of "With Magnetic Fields Disrupted" is a great improvement over the 1991 New Alliance version. The bass is deeper, the vocals sit better in the mix, and the harshness is gone. Both the CD and LP have a massive booklet including a time-line history of the band with drawings, photos, and journal entries from 1969-1970. A trip through time, and a trip through the brothers Miller, collectively.
A second Sproton Layer CD/LP, "Press Your Hand and the Whole Room Fluctuates", is slated for a 2014 release.
Fresh brand new studio recordings of yet more songs and defining improvisations written back in the day.