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CD Release - Maserati speeds up the process

Group dispersed throughout country but keeps things tight

Athens instrumentalist group Maserati didn't finish the last song on its first North American tour in two years, at a makeshift dive in Brooklyn, thanks to a drunk teenager who crashed into its gear halfway through "Show Me the Season" — a churning Frankenstein rising amid driving drums and expansive guitar lines. But that wasn't the weeklong jaunt's lowlight for frontman Coley Dennis; the big bummer was the broken-tooth-via-chicken-wing suffered by drummer Jerry Fuchs — who joined the band in 2004 — two days before the tour's end.

Luckily, Fuchs didn't have to travel back to Athens with touring bassist Chris McNeal (ex-Paper Lions), touring guitarist Josh McCauley (of Maserati acolytes a.armada) and Dennis. Part of a new paradigm in Maserati's six-year existence, its four official members are scattered about the country: Dennis resides in Athens; Fuchs, who also plays in the ultra-rhythmic Juan MacLean and math-deconstructionists Turing Machine, lives in Brooklyn; guitarist Matt Cherry is in Atlanta; and bassist Steve Scarborough is, as of this fall, an Oregon State University student.

"I think the band has gotten to the point where it's not necessary to have everyone in the same city," says Dennis, who wrote sketches for the band's latest album, Inventions for the New Season, along with Cherry.

In order to flesh the ideas out, Fuchs would fly in to jam with them and Scarborough.

"Of all the writing techniques we've tried, this one has definitely worked out best," Dennis says. "We're planning on using the same method with Steve." After all, Fuchs adds, "We've managed to stay productive with me living 850-some miles away."

Based on live performances, Inventions — Maserati's third full-length — will be a hulking chimera, branching the post-rock of Mogwai with Pink Floyd's psychedelia and the brazen experimentalism of Can.

"We consciously went in with the idea to do a record that had a lot more space and ambience," Dennis says.

The combination was novel enough to catch the ear of Brooklyn imprint Temporary Residence Limited (home to Explosions in the Sky and Mono), which will release Inventions in May 2007.

Even with thousands of miles separating its members — and dental surgery imminent — the far-flung Maserati looks to be cruising toward a bright horizon. Did I mention it's in a white minivan?