Ternary by Sorry No Ferrari
2010 CD
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This is a split label release with The Square Root Of Music Recordings.

"In many ways, Sorry No Ferrari's first full length record Ternary plays out like an old Yes record might if it were released today. The band plays quick, intricate music that vacillates between time signatures and changes on a dime. Where their first EPs, Oh, Snap! and The Get Down Syndrome, featured a mostly math rock sound, Ternary enters into prog rock territory by focusing equally on melody, rhythm, and theme.

For Ternary, the theme is artificial intelligence. Opening the album is a three part, 17-minute suite that sets the stage for a story of technological singularity. Essentially, in such a scenario, intelligent devices become more intelligent than their human creators, and therefore become dominant. This theme is already pretty ambitious, but what makes it even more of an undertaking is that Sorry No Ferrari is an instrumental band.

So, everything they do to tell their story must be done through sound. Throughout the 40 minutes it takes to get from beginning to end, Ternary reveals itself as a cohesive and linear unit, which perfectly captures this story and the music of this band." - Sean Zearfoss / Performer Magazine

Recorded by Bruce Butkovich at Open Sky Studios in Atlanta
Mastered by Carl Saff

Listen to Ashar

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Reviews:

"In case you create a band that uses absolutely no lyrics or vocals, period, in your records, there is only one thing to do: create an instrumental album to rock the senses. That is just what Sorry No Ferrari does on their debut full-length LP Ternary. Rarely does American contemporary rock take such risks, but Sorry No Ferrari takes on the challenge and the results are winning at times, not so great at others, but for a debut album, especially an instrumental one, Sorry No Ferrari has really nothing to be sorry about.

One of the few non-suite songs on the record, "Ashar," dives in first for the most haunting track on the record. Filled with the type of passion and emotion, with vocals, the song would have surely been a radio hit for the band. But because of its lack of lyrics, the electric guitar becomes the voice of the song (and the record itself), allowing for a more free-flowing adventure that may have been limited by vocals.

"Setun" sounds like an instrumental track on an early 80's power-rock record, and the opening song "Ternary" sprawls over three tracks, with influences from a few eras of rock music, mostly contemporary and '80s. While one can see the attempt to create an epic opening track for a debut album, what is missing from the songs are any real surprises. Perhaps a little more experimentation could have been done with such a long opening, something along the lines of "Ashar" only, well, different. Even so, the opening is an interesting ride.

In the end, this is an instrumental album, making it less likely to be on your most played list, but that's the magic of the record. The music itself isn't made to be worn out, but to be enjoyed when the mood strikes the listener, allowing the music to get the attention it deserves." - Eric Chavez / Atlanta Music Guide

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"The thing I've always loved about instrumental music-be it post-rock, jazz fusion, electronic, math rock, classical, you name it-is its ability to transport you. So much is left to the imagination; songs are like blank canvases-you can paint your own pictures, work out your own interpretations. Without vocals to narrate the music, you're left with left with little more that your own preconceived notions of style and genre to guide you. Nothing is overt; it's all implied innuendo and that's what I find the most liberating.

Over the course of two EPs, Atlanta's Sorry No Ferrari have built their reputation as skilled sonic shredders, fusing together elements of indie, math and post-rock to create complex instrumental jams. But while their music has been technically impressive, it has also sometimes meandered aimlessly in search of a distinct melodic focus.

Their debut full-length, however, is an altogether different beast. Ternary attacks in sharp bursts with songs that are continuously branching out, morphing, evolving. It's a chaotic thrill ride, but it's so well-constructed, the transitions so seamless, that it never feels cluttered or convoluted. The music is distinctly mathy-full of turn-on-a-dime dynamics and constantly shifting time signatures-but this time around the four-piece has placed a much greater emphasis on melody and theme. They've been able to do this in part by adopting a much more ambitious prog rock aesthetic, inserting unexpected interludes, extending passages and incorporating more ambient textures. The result has been songs that are not just more organized and tightly-knit, but much more adventurous and nuanced as well.

Playing out like the soundtrack to some epic sci-fi chase sequence, Ternary slams you headlong through some futuristic cityscape, veering perilously through side streets and back alleyways in a desperate race to reach the heart of a labyrinthine metropolis. The album moves at a breathtaking pace; there are surprises at every turn, and the occasional detour or dead end forces you to double back and discover a new path. And just when exhaustion sets in and the feeling of claustrophobia begins to overwhelm you, you're spit out, dizzy and bleary-eyed, into a vast open space, where everything becomes calm and serene. Given its frantic pace, Ternary can often seem like a tumultuous whirlwind, and it's these points of tranquility and quiet reflection that lend it a much needed sense of space and thematic cohesion.

Dense and difficult, this is not a record for the casual listener; it demands patience and careful attention before its myriad mysteries can be revealed. But for those that take the time to partake in the journey and absorb the brunt force of its manifold ideas, the rewards are many. Simply put, Ternary is a fantastic effort and easily one of the best local records of the year." - Latest Disgrace

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"Ternary" marks the first full length album release by the six-year old, Atlanta-based Sorry No Ferrari. This five-piece instrumental rock band takes advantage of having no vocalist, demonstrating their playing abilities with aplomb. After a quick listen, it's clear that each cog of this band is proficient in his choice of instrument.

"Ternary" is a seven-song album that sounds like a cross between Joe Satriani's instrumental rock and Muse's recent stadium rock melodies and arrangements (minus the singer, of course). The songs are upbeat with a driving drum that keeps the music moving forward. Within each song, various tempo changes and breaks create points of tension and release that give the songs a sustained life span.

The band uses an assortment of electric and acoustic guitars to fill in and around the drums, including an electric bass and synthesized sounds. On the song "Setun," a violin and cello are effectively used, embalming the track with a somber tone. There is a good deal of guitar shredding throughout the album, but it never becomes a bragging fest, nor too abstract; rather, it balances technical proficiency with melodic guitar writing and playing.

The mood within each song varies between energetic, ominous, and solemn, and as a result the music has a pleasant balance. In particular, "Talos Part II" features a distinct, dark riff at its end which finishes off the album on a grand note." - Christ Khodadadi / Examiner.com

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"Sorry No Ferrari is an instrumental rock band that fits snugly into the prog-rock/ post-hardcore genre occupied by bands like Coheed & Cambria and Fall of Troy. Ternary, the group's first full-length album, is a strong effort. With no vocalist to sing in an operatic, over-the-top fashion or scream through the music, the band's songs tend to be guitar-centered. The music shifts from more melodic passages to chunkier, riff-oriented sections, with a dose of the herky-jerky, time signature-punishing complexity that dominates both prog and post-hardcore music.

What makes Ternary really work is the locked-in playing of the musicians. This kind of stuff is often a showcase for guitarists, but Brett Kelly and Chad Shivers have a nice interplay that doesn't rely on flashy or extended solos. Instead their songwriting finds a nice balance between styles that makes the material hard-hitting without being overwrought. Equally important are drummer Jonathan Balsamo and bassist Drew Mobley, who provide a strong rhythmic base for the guitarists. Mobley rarely doubles the guitar parts, which gives the music another solid layer, while Balsamo deftly piles on the fills without ever losing the underlying beat. This isn't the sort of music that will easily cross over to a broad audience, but fans of instrumental rock will find a lot to like about Sorry No Ferrari." - Chris Conaton / Pop Matters

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"While watching Sorry No Ferrari play a Criminal Records in-store on Saturday (Jan. 29), a wave of long-forgotten ruminations on the nature of "math rock," for lack of a better term, were unexpectedly stirred up. There was a time in the not-so-distant past when angular rhythms and complex time signature changes were a dominating force in American indie rock. It was the mid-to-late '90s and there was Thrill Jockey Records - the whole Chicago scene and all that came with it: Tortoise, June of 44, Dianogah et. al. All of these bands were connected by an aesthetic that now defines the era. Sure a lot of the music felt like a background searching for a foreground, but the records were always a pleasure. But the one act that I never could with was Don Caballero. It is undeniable that drummer Damon Che was part super-human, and part metronome. But their music was just so jockish, uptight and driven by a tangle of overly confident riffs and break-neck changes.

I digress, but it's to illustrate a point. Don Cab's sound is a clear touchstone for Sorry No Ferrari, but getting your head around their songs is a fundamentally different and far more engaging experience. When these five accomplished musicians - Jonathan Balsamo (drums), Brett Kelly (guitar), Drew Mobley (bass), Nick Pantano (electronics) and Chad Shivers (guitar) - get together and play, the pursuit of perfection is going to happen, it's just the nature of the beast. For their show on Sat., SNF zeroed in on bubbling, polyrhythmic fugues that took shape long enough to pique my ears before shifting into different, melodic configuration before the groove could where out its welcome. What sets their songs apart is that they're actually catchy, and there's always a new, compelling rhythm waiting around every sharp turn. And it is always easy to tell which two/three members of the group are playing interlocking parts because their heads bob in unison, out of sync with the rest of the band.

In the middle of their show one of my more jaded acquaintances handed me his cell phone. On the screen he had typed out "wanktoberfest," and sure, you can't play music like this without falling into self-indulgence to a degree. But it's plain to see that these guys are making music the only way they know how, and they're not playing to prove a point. Sorry No Ferrari is laughing with you, not at you, and that makes the music a lot easier to take in than that of the band that pretty much defined the genre in which their songs reside." - Chad Radford / Creative Loafing