With The Great Game’s members spanning from around the globe, the seven piece band successfully interweaves an array of musical genres that can best be described as “new world music”; taking timeless aspects of various musical styles and bringing them together to create something new and cohesive. The Great Game draws influences from bands like A Perfect Circle and King Crimson, but ultimately each member adds personal strength through vocal, lyrical and instrumental precision.
On their opening track, “Science”, Chamberlain blends in the sound of his accordion with Sarraf’s distorted jazz guitar, tapping unfounded boundaries by merging instrumental experimentation with the unpredictability of the future (“Is this the age of science?/Is this the way that we will be remembered?”) Their album unravels flawlessly as The Great Game clings to the heart and soul of each individual song, allowing them to flow seamlessly into the next while simultaneously adding new aspects of musical exploration.”The Turning of the Wheel of Dhamma” maintains the the moral introspection of “Religionism”, while replacing the prior’s metal yelps with jazzy smooth whispers.
The album’s lyrics and transitions from male to female vocals work well to encompass both genders as well as appeal to Spanish and English speakers by embracing ideas in a bilingual nature, as shown in “El Hechizo de Hoy”. On “Television”, Rosenblat’s sensual vocals plead with the mechanical and robotic to show her “what is real”, speaking universally to our society as we become further absorbed and lost in artificial connection. The Great Game frequents nightmarish dreamscapes in tracks like “Television” but also depicts enchanting fantasies in their song “Hungarian Dream”, encouraging us to let go of any inhibitions and uncertainties we may cling onto and instead get lost in the moment.
Ending their stunning debut with their track entitled none other than “The Great Game”, it’s clear to see each song is thoughtfully chosen from start to finish. “The Great Game” reveals what the band has intended for all along by allowing their music to be free of constraints and boundaries and enticing their listener to “throw the dice and play the great game”. Even though you never quite know what exactly is in store next, you can’t help but become immersed in their melodic experimentation and defining lyrics as you enthusiastically accept their challenge.