Thursday, 29 March 2012

You know sometimes you buy an album on impulse..... Having read a couple of reviews and a recommendation, I downloaded an album by Terry Riley called A Rainbow in Curved Air. Recorded in the mid sixties it consists of two instrumentals lasting 18 and 21 mins.

It's definitely interesting but possibly not something you would listen to that often. It has the air of a man who on delivery of his new synthesiser decided he had to try every pedal, effect and button to see what it did.

The title track is more energetic and was obviously heard by Pete Townsend because he subsequently lifted the intro to Baba O'Reilly from about 4 minutes into the track ! The second track revels in the name of Poppy Nogood and the Phantom Band and is a more disconcerting 'song' as just as you settle into a section it shifts and drifts off in another direction

Not an easy listen but one for the devout muso in you only.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Waited a while but finally there is some new material from The Eden House. It's only a 5 track mini album but the Timeflows EP is worth seeking out.

The core musicians remain but as usual the vocals are taken on by a variety of female singers. The opening track Neversea is one of the rockier tracks they've done and feature guitar heroics from Simon Hinkler which could easily have come from the classic Mission album Children.

The pace then drops for Into the Red and The Only One which rely much more on gothic atmospheric and mesmerising vocals.

The album ends with the two part Timeflows track. Immediately the pulsing Nephilim like bass line pushes this into more epic territory. At over 12 minutes long this pushes deep into prog realms with part 2 of the song being an extended coda to the earlier exhilaration of part 1.

I've been lucky enough to purchase the album on as a 10" 180gsm vinyl and it sounds magnificent. Andy Jackson is the man Pink Floyd trust when is comes to remastering their back catalogue and even though his primary role in The Eden House is as a guitarist, the production is impeccable.

This is just meant to be a taster for a new album which already makes it my second most anticipate release of 2012 only beaten by the possible return of the mythical Carl McCoy.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Heard a lot of interesting stuff about The Civil Wars so thought I would take a risk on the debut album, Barton Hollow

It's a very laid back album with a real americana vibe - you want to be sat on a veranda looking out over a sun setting on miles of fields. The male/female vocal harmonies are just stunning on the mainly acoustic tracks like 20 Years and Girl With The Red Balloon.

The two stand out tracks couldn't be more different, Poison And Wine is a pained ballad about a disintegrating relationship with real feeling behind it. Barton Hollow though offers a welcome respite from the acoustic harmony with a real southern style and gritty feel. What feels like an authentic civil war tune from deepest dixie with references to both god and outlaws.  This is then followed with a plaintive piano led instrumental, The Violet Hour, to change the mood completely.

The album ends with an acoustic and very slowed down version of Michael Jackson's track Billie Jean. In no way is a bad track but you wonder if the gimmick is necessary with an album this good....

Apparently Taylor Swift is a fan but don't let that put you off.....

The band also have a live album available for free from their website

It makes a great companion piece to the album - It's called Live At Eddie's Attic and while it does exactly what the title says it is still well worth investigating

Thursday, 1 March 2012

I stumbled across a mini album by a band called Cynic... I heard rumours they were pioneers in death metal and released a seminal album way back when. This though is not in any form a death metal band anymore but a prog thoroughbred

Carbon Based Anatomy contains only 6 songs - The opener Amidst the Coals consists of female vocals singing in an unknown language over drifting keyboards. The title track feature some prodigious drumming and a good ol' fashioned guitar solo

The variety within only 6 tracks is jaw dropping - Bija features tabla drums and a very eastern feel with no vocals while Elves Beam Out is a 70's prog work out with a decidedly space rock feel

This album met none of my preconceptions of what it would sound like and is all the better for it.
It's an album which never lets you settle into one style of music and leave you wanting to hear more