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Cleveland, Ohio, United States | SELF

Cleveland, Ohio, United States | SELF
Band Americana Classic Rock


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"Terrain version of Friend of the Devil featured on Fat Tuesday 2012"

Today's DCP featured video is Friend Of The Devil by the band Terrain. A great cover "with an island spin" and a swell hand crafted video to boot! - Dead.net


Story Land - Terrain 2011



Terrain is an American rock band formed in Cleveland, Ohio. Members of this six-piece band are lead vocalist/guitarist Christopher Strauch, vocalist/guitarist Mark Tiborsky, bassist Robert Rinkes, percussionist Lorne Franklin, drummer Steve Niple, and Grant Marquit on keyboards and vocals.

In the summer of 2011 Terrain issued its debut album: Story Land. It was recorded in their private studio and mastered at 5/4 Productions LTD. by seven-time Grammy Award-winning engineer Michael Bishop. Although their first release, Story Land encapsulates decades of writing and exploration of emotions, imaginary worlds, relationships, and superstition.

Listening to Story Land reveals influences of early Pink Floyd, Yes, and Genesis with doses of Grateful Dead and a touch of Tom Petty’s pop sensibility. Still, what you really hear on Story Land is the fresh and authentic sound of musicians playing what they love in music without regard for musical trends and fashions.

Story Land opens with the unleashing of a full frontal crush of guitars in Voodoo Doll, where anguish and superstion mix. Lyrical word play and metaphor in Story Land walk between reality and dream in Khameleon and doubles back on itself like a Tarantino-directed episode of the Twilight Zone in The Devil You Know. The Birthplace of Raven offers a vision of an apocalyptic landscape while Train to Purgatory shows you familiar characters plucked from their original settings and dropped into new surroundings on a one-way trip. The finale of this CD is a spoken word Western entitled Billy the Bones featuring Cleveland poet Ben Gulyas.

Throughout the record longer songs allow the musicians a chance to stretch out–Devil You Know blending harmonic guitar lines and the squeal of analogue synths to climax the no-win situation of the main character; Opium Fields where the instrumental section emulates an opium dream. Other numbers like What About You? adhere to a tight, punchy pop song structure. The musicians’ attention to detail makes this music complex, adventurous, and multi-layered. Repeated listens reveal new and intriguing elements giving fresh perspective on these original tunes.

Band History
Christopher Strauch (guitar, vocals), Mark Tiborsky (guitar, vocals), Robert Rinkes (bass), and Thomas Sturtevant (drums, vocals) formed a band in 1987 called The Cells. Modeled loosely on the Grateful Dead this band played a mixture of original and cover songs around the Cleveland area. In 1989 they recorded an eight-song cassette of originals that gained national attention in Relix and The Alternative Press quoted here:

This Cleveland outfit draw from the rich heritage of American rock: the Grateful Dead, CCR, the Band, Neil Young (yeah, I know he’s Canadian; give me a break), even the dreaded REM, to forge a tough, honest collection of songs good enough to stand alongside its forebears. No small praise, I know, but they deserve it. (Jim Santo, March 1990)

In 1992 Christopher Strauch lent his songwriting and playing to another local band called Cat Free Air which garnered great reviews and a strong regional following. The Cells went on hiatus in 1998 and reformed in 2003 when Strauch started building his home studio. Lorne Franklin (percussion) joined The Cells in 2004 while the newly-named Terrain (Tiborsky, Strauch and Rinkes) started recording new material in the studio. In 2008 Terrain released a spoken word demo collaborating with poet Ben Gulyas. In 2009 Gordon Oliver was brought in for the more demanding drum responsibilities. Oliver was replaced on drums after several months by Steve Niple, and in the summer 2011 Grant Marquit was brought into the band on keyboard and vocals just before Story Land was released.

Story Land is the sound of a band that after twenty-four years is still finding its best work lies ahead.