Martland's compositions are dominated by a powerful rhythmic sensibility, but his harmonic palette is limited and there's precious little melodic interest in most of his pieces. Rhythm can carry quite a bit (witness the power of Steve Reich's
music), but there's more brute force than complexity in Martland's writing. On "Principia," the musical ideas come in tiny packets that are bounced like superballs into the listener's face at close intervals; "Crossing the Border" manages to wander around for 23 minutes without ever going anywhere. "Re-mix," however, is a charming foray into a jazzy, almost klezmer-like mood. The Steve Martland Band performs with conviction throughout, but it's hard to get excited about most of these pieces.