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All posts for the month August, 2020

This news story was originally published here: https://theprogressiveaspect.net/blog/2020/08/31/un-aspecto-diferente-42/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=un-aspecto-diferente-42

In this update we have the second of a two part Spanish ADA Special featuring:

• Turdetans – Suite of Dreams
• Qamar – Todo Empieza Aquí
• Viva Belgrado – Bella Vista
• Jardin de la Croix – Letargo
• De la Cuna a la Tumba – La Tumba
• Ikaruss – Relapse Into Desolation
• Rafael Pacha – Al Rincón por Soñar
• Manoel Macia – La Vida Guardada
• El Tubo Elástico – El Tubo Elástico En Directo

It’s not unusual for me to receive unsolicited recommendations off the back of one of my reviews, but I’ve never had quite the response I have from my recent Spanish edition of A Different Aspect. Enough, it seems, that I can write a second round up of progressive music from Spain! So, without further ado, here’s another nine albums from Spanish artists…

Turdetans – Suite of Dreams
Nick Hudson
Turdetans - Suite Of Dreams

Turdetans may be Spanish, but they remind me most of Polish Band, Osada Vida (which is no bad thing, as I’m a great Osada Vida fan). Somewhat coincidentally, Osada Vida also released an album about sleep and dreaming. Like Osada Vida, the sound of Turdetans is rich, heavy and dense, playing a melancholic prog metal with atmospheric keyboard flourishes, and an almost jazzy lightness of touch that contrasts beautifully with the ominous and aggressive nature of much of the music. But, again like Osada Vida, Turdetans are just as adept at more mellow (dare I say dreamy?) passages, and flow beautifully from one to another. Flow is especially important for Turdetans, as the album is a continuous suite of music, with each piece segueing perfectly into the next. There are some particularly folky passages within the album, and not necessarily where you’d expect them either.

The first listening of this album is quite amazing, seemingly with a surprise around every corner. Subsequent listens lose a little of that wonder, but there are still plenty of flourishes that seem to have escaped notice the first time around. This is absolutely one of the most enjoyable, and easily one of my favourite, of the Spanish albums recommended to me in the last few weeks.

Qamar – Todo Empieza Aquí
Nick Hudson
Qamar – Todo Empieza Aquí

Well, I guess if I compared Turdetans to Osada Vida, then Qamar’s Polish equivalent might be Riverside. That, at least was my brief first impression, when the album began. However the sound very soon opens up, and reveals itself to be far more unique, and me to have been greatly mistaken. What really stands out for me, is the rhythm section. I love the prominent role the bass and drums play in Qamar’s music. And that’s not to take away from guitars and keys, which playfully spar with one another throughout. Then there’s all the added instrumentation. I’m always a sucker for sax, so when that hits I’m a happy bunny. There’s also some gorgeous flute, violin and Flamenco guitar. A lot of the time this sounds like a heavier, jazzier take on folk music.

I have no great knowledge of Andalusian folk music, so I could well be (and probably am) wrong. But I love the folky sound. The music is at times unmistakably and undeniably Spanish. My only complaint is the inclusion, or perhaps just the sequencing, of Éxodo, which is an enjoyable enough piece, but seems out of place. It’s quite jarring when it begins, somewhat ruining the mood I have settled into. Where Turdetan’s Suite of Dreams flowed beautifully, Éxodo kills Todo Empieza Aqui’s flow for me.

Viva Belgrado – Bella Vista
Nick Hudson
Viva Belgrado – Bella Vista

There’s no mistaking this for Andalusian folk. This sounds like At the Drive In might have done if they were a post-rock band. The music is almost wholly, but definitely not entirely, post-rock, while the vocals tend towards post-hardcore. It’s all post-something, anyway. I think. Maybe. I’ve never been good with genres, and anytime someone adds ‘post’ to an existing genre it merely further muddies the water. It’s jolly good stuff, though.

The band throw a complete curveball with fourth track Más Triste Que Shinji Ikari, which sounds NOTHING like what came before, and bizarrely seems to be the lead single. Anyone buying the album off the back of this song would potentially get a nasty surprise. So, just to be annoying, the video below is that song, which gives no indication at all of what the rest of the album sounds like. I didn’t like this song when I first heard it, but I think that was just down to the shock of how different it was, stylistically. Over subsequent listens, I’ve come to like it as much as the remainder of the album, but I still can’t really compare it (apples and oranges, and all that…). What surprises me most, is just how much I do enjoy this album. These sort of screamed and strained vocals are usually not my cup of tea at all, but they just work here.

Jardin de la Croix – Letargo
Nick Hudson
Jardin de la Croix – Letargo

After Viva Belgrado’s punky take on post-rock, Jardin de la Croix offer a far more traditional take on the genre. What really lifts Letargo, though, is the sumptuous and beautiful keys, which rise above the duelling guitars. Letargo is precise and technical, which can easily leave a band sounding lifeless and mechanical (and the reason so many post-rock bands do nothing for me). Too much math and not enough rock leaves me acknowledging the proficiency of the playing, but realising I am completely disinterested. Letargo, on the other hand, offers more than enough variety and vitality to not only maintain interest, but to create enthusiasm, and anticipation for the next big build. And rest assured, there are some suitably nifty crescendos and climaxes.

I definitely like what I hear on these two tracks, to want to go back and investigate the band’s previous releases. From what I understand, Letargo is the first of three EPs to be released for download and on (10”) vinyl over 2020 and 2021, with an eventual CD and LP release compiling all three. Definitely something to keep an eye (or, rather, ear) on…

De la Cuna a la Tumba – La Tumba
Nick Hudson
De la Cuna a la Tumba – La Tumba

A return to a heavier post-rock sound, but while De la Cuna a la Tumba use post-hardcore as a tag on Bandcamp, there’s little there compared with Viva Belgrado – though that post-hardcore sound does come to the fore at times. The alternative metal tag is probably more indicative of their overall sound. There are many items when De la Cuna a la Tumbra remind me of ’90s alternative metal, such as For Love Not Lisa – except, transposed into a modern post-rock setting. Sometimes I could go even further back, as there’s a melodic and doomy aesthetic at times that is reminiscent of ’70s Black Sabbath. It’s a compelling mix, whatever the influences or inferred similarities.

I’ve said before that post-rock is a far more varied genre than many people suspect, and the three Spanish post-rock bands I’ve written about here, as well as those I wrote about in my first Spanish A Different Aspect article, really does go to show how far it is possible to stretch the genre, incorporating quite disparate styles into a post-rock framework. It’s not all doom and noise with De la Cuna a la Tumbra, and there are some particularly delicate and beautiful pieces. I absolutely love the fifth track, #pormuylejosqueintentemosir (all the tracks are written as hashtags), for example. These quieter pieces really give the following more boisterous tracks considerably more impact, than if they came one after another. A great album, well sequenced.

Ikaruss – Relapse Into Desolation
Nick Hudson
Ikaruss – Relapse Into Desolation

Ikaruss are only just on the listenable side of my tolerance for harsh vocals. This is definitely post-metal as opposed to post-rock – and any hints of doom that De la Cuna a la Tumba may have, are thrown under the bus by the almost unrelenting and overt doom and sludge of Ikaruss. Hecky thump, these boys are heavy. No doubt those who like heavier music than I, might laugh at that, but we all have our limits, and Ikaruss is right at mine. That said, when the heaviness does relent at times, the quieter passages are really nice. And even some of the more crushing passages are still relatively pleasant (until the tortured vocals kick back in).

I’m pretty sure if Ikaruss were an instrumental band, I might actually really enjoy them. I do like the music, but the vocals prove to be a bit of a stumbling block for me. The most accessible track, unsurprisingly I guess, appears to be the lead single for the album. You’ll know if this band is for you, or (like me) not, fairly quickly, I suspect…

Rafael Pacha – Al Rincón por Soñar
Nick Hudson
Rafael Pacha – Al Rincón por Soñar

Oh yeah, this is definitely more my thing. An eclectic, slightly folky, slightly jazzy, slightly kooky rock, that reminds me a little of early Split Enz (Getting Older), for sure, gives me serious Phil Judd vibes. There’s an almost pop-like accessibility that is just perverse and subverted enough to keep the music close to, but not quite, within the mainstream. Like the Enz, Rafael Pacha seems to delight in putting contrasting pieces together. After the exuberant and explicit Getting Older, is the restrained and minimal La Línea de la Vida, which builds beautifully, like an Eddie Rayner instrumental. And if Getting Older was reminiscent of Phil Judd, then Books on the Schoolyard is classic Tim Finn.

Earlier Split Enz had a pastoral sound surprisingly similar to early Genesis, and Rafael Pacha has much the same feel, but the sound is notably more Mediterranean in sound (for example El Juego de las Diferencias and Friends, which follow after Books). The title track is definitely my favourite, but there’s a lot of goodness to choose from, for sure!

Manoel Macia – La Vida Guardada
Nick Hudson
Manoel Macia – La Vida Guardada

Manoel Macia is a guitarist who has worked with Rafael Pacha (I plan on checking out their Bandcamp to hear what they sound like together), and has put out an absolute belter of an acoustic album this year. La Vida Guardada is a perfect example of less being more. I had a listen to some of his previous albums, and La Vida Guardada knocks them out of the water. I’m usually more a fan of Steve Hackett-style guitar than Anthony Phillips – and this is definitely closer to the latter – so how much I enjoy this is a very pleasant surprise.

An album based solely on the acoustic wanderings and wonderings of a guitarist can easily fail due to a lack of variation, but there’s not a moment where my attention fades. The mood and style change not only between tracks, but sometimes within as well. This never feels or sounds like self-indulgence on the part of Macia. There is no redundancy or unneeded ornamentation. This is easily one of the most pleasant albums I’ve listened to during my Spanish odyssey. How progressive it is, is possibly subjective, but who cares when it’s this enjoyable?

(We could not locate a video for any track from the new album, so the above video is taken from a previous album.)

El Tubo Elástico – El Tubo Elástico En Directo
Nick Hudson
El Tubo Elástico – El Tubo Elástico En Directo

El Tubo Elástico’s debut provided me with one of the highlights of 2015, and their follow up in 2018 was undoubtedly one of the best releases of that year. I love the eclectic and somewhat difficult to define style of ETE. They have a definite post-rock feel, but I’m not sure too many would simply describe the band as post-rock. There is some jazz fusion in there, too, but they don’t really fit that bill either. Definitely some psychedelic and space rock moments. And sometimes the music borders on electronic and ambient. Regardless, they are an amazing band to listen to, and one I always imagined would absolutely blaze live.

With this 2020 release of a 2015 live performance of their debut album, my suspicions are confirmed. I found with the studio albums that sometimes I was not sure who is playing what, as there are multiple layers of guitars, and different members play the same instruments. Thus at times there is some amazing synth and guitar interplay, but I was never sure who is playing what. The band have released this entire gig on YouTube as well, so it’s now a lot easier to work out.

One big drawcard here is the opening track Impala, which the band explains was used as intro/improvisation for their concerts, before transforming, after many turns and trials, into Impala Formidable on their sophomore album. As with the studio recordings, my favourite thing at any given time, is the rhythm section of Carlos Cabrera and Alfonso Romero, who keep cohesion and focus in the album, and keep tightly in sync, while still managing to pull out some absolutely wild moments.

Edition 255 of Sounds That Can Be Made is now available as a podcast!

Playlist:

Profuna Ocean – Black Train (from Continuation)
Robert Svilpa – Foucault’s Pendulum – part 2A (from To Sleep Perchance to Dream)
Ayreon – Hopelessly Slipping Away (from Transitus)
Wishbone Ash – Empty Man (from Coat of Arms)
Deep Purple – Nothing at All (from Whoosh!)
Pattern-Seeking Animals – Lifeboat (from Prehensile Tales)
Yes – Heart Of The Sunrise (from Fragile)
Frumpy – Duty (from Frumpy 2)
Swallow The Sun – Before the Summer Dies (from Songs from the North)
Opeth – Still Day Beneath The Sun (from Blackwater Park)
Citizen Cain – Junk and Doughnuts (from Somewhere But Yesterday)
Sagrado Coração da Terra – The Central Sun of the Universe (from Farol da Liberdade)
Tinyfish – Rainland (from The Big Red Spark)
Violent Silence – Prism Path (from A Broken Truce)
Marillion – The Uninvited Guest (from Seasons End)
Rush – Mystic Rhythms (from Power Windows)
Protest The Hero – The Canary (from Palimpsest)
The Mars Volta – Goliath (from The Bedlam in Goliath)
Argent – God Gave Rock And Roll To You (from In Deep)

#progzillaradio #stcbm

Midge Ure – Breathe

Marillion – Script For a Jester’s Tear

Fish – Jungle Ride

Lifesigns – Open Skies

Tinyfish – Big Red Spark

Led Zeppelin – No Quarter (live)

Rush – Red Barchetta

Wishbone Ash – Throw Down the Sword (live)

 

With excerpts from Johnny V, The Eagle Has Landed and Dangerous Devotions by Jump

Paul Di’Anno’s Battlezone – The Land God Gave to Caine

E.L.O – Summer and Lightning

The Tangent – Jinxed in Jersey

Motorpsycho – Psychotzar

Pete Townshend – Let My Love Open the Door

a-ha – Minor Earth Major Sky (Niven’s Radio edit)

Steven Wilson – Remainder the Back Dog

Combination Head – The Curator

The Headboys – Benny

Landmarq – Summer Madness

Strangefish – Summer Slips Away

Edition 225 of THE PROG MILL for Progzilla Radio (445 in total), first broadcast 30 August 2020, is now also available to listen to anytime or download. Another two hours of superb melodic and symphonic progressive rock. Also this week, Leo Trimming from The Progressive Aspect reviews the wonderful EP ‘Meanwhile’ by Kaprekar’s Constant, and once again you can test your knowledge of the world of progressive rock in our fun, quick fire quiz ‘How Proggy Are You?!’

Here’s This Week’s Playlist

1 Three Colours Dark – The Science of Goodbye (The Science of Goodbye)
2 Gandalf’s Fist – Stakes at Low Tide (Single)
3 Rosenkreutz – Freefall (Divide et Impera)
4 Knight Area – A Different Man Part 2 (Under a New Sign)
5 Doug Woods & Colin Powell – Horizons of Tomorrow (Cinematica)
6 Ian Neal – The Vale of Linden (Barkston Ash)
7 Kaprekar’s Constant – Dali’s Key (Meanwhile…)
8 Jadis – The Beginning and the End (More than Meets The Eye)
9 Foxtrot – A Shadow of the Past (A Shadow of the Past)
10 Millenium – Loser (The Web)
11 The Art of Noise – On Being Blue (The Seduction of Claude Debussy)
12 Roxy Music – A Song for Europe (Stranded)
13 Ryan Knecht – Boy Genius (Themenstein)

You can hear The Prog Mill on Progzilla Radio at these times every week (www.progzilla.com/listen – via the tune in and other internet radio apps and platforms – or ask your smart speaker to “Play Radio Progzilla on Tune-In”) :

Sundays 10pm – Midnight UK (2100UTC) – main broadcast
Tuesdays 0300-0500 UK (0200UTC) – For North America – Mon 7pm Pacific/10pm Eastern
Tuesdays 2300-0100UK (2200 UTC) – 1500 Pacific/1800 Eastern
Saturdays 6-8pm UK (1700 UTC) – Family friendly Saturday evening repeat

Plus: A podcast of the show which you can stream anytime or download as a mp3 file is normally online by Monday evening each week, with links here and at progzilla.com/podcasts

Your melodic and symphonic progressive rock music suggestions for the show are very welcome. Just email shaun@progzilla.com, or message via twitter @shaunontheair or facebook.com/theprogmill

The Ancient One is pleased to say that the podcast for Show No 142 “Tall Tales Vol 9” is now available. This show highlights some excellent long tracks from Ukraine, Germany, Netherlands, Australia and the UK.

Playlist.

1 Greenslade – Spirit of the Dance (excerpt used as Intro)
2 Pacifica – The Mariner
3 Sunchild – Under The Wrap Pt 1-3
4 David Gilmour – Echoes ( Live In Gdansk)
5 Apogee – Overruled
6 Focus – Eruption Pt 1-5
7 Unitopia – Tesla
8 Patchwork Cacophony – Fairytale Pt 1-4
9 Genesis – Dancing With The Moonlit Knight.
10 Greenslade – Joie De Vivre (excerpt used as Outro)

This news story was originally published here: https://theprogressiveaspect.net/blog/2020/08/30/french-tv-13-stories-without-fingerprints/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=french-tv-13-stories-without-fingerprints

Louisville, Kentucky is probably not the first place you would think of as a hotbed of prog rock, and to be fair, you would be completely justified. However, this place is called home by one Mike Sary and his veteran band of musical outliers, collectively known as French TV. As the album title might suggest, this is their thirteenth album. The band formed in 1983 and since then it has seen a number of line-up changes, the only constant being nimble-fingered bassist and band leader Mike Sary. Joining Mike are Katsumi Yoneda on guitars, and Pat Straswer on keyboards, and for three of the six tracks on the first CD, drummer Mark L. Perry, all of whom also featured on the last album, 2017’s #12 Operation: Mockingbird, and so a fleetingly rare consistency of line-up is achieved. The drums on the rest of the album are supplied by the returning Jeff Gard, last seen on 2010’s #10 I Forgive You All My Unhappiness.

Reading my review of the last album, it is hard to add to the descriptions therein for the latest work, as the complexities that are the group’s trademark remain, continuing to par boil one’s synapses with a dash of Cajun hot spice, in a Zappaesque jus, all cooked for exactly the right amount of time. This time round we are served a generous helping of FTV over two CDs. The first disc contains six new numbers that cover the expanse of the already well-established FTV canvas with splashes of colour, and splatters of wilful obscurantism in just the right proportion. The new-but-old drummer links well with leader Mike Sary’s rubbery bass runs, runs that threaten to get almost funky on The Museum of Worthless Inventions. Jeff Gard’s drumming on that track is light and dexterous, and is never obtrusive, knowing when to leave it alone, contrasting with the slightly heavier style of Mark Perry. The Museum… breaks into a neo-prog wash of synths and restrained noodling courtesy of keys man Pat Strawser and plank spanker Katsumi Yoneda.

This Jigsaw is Tearing our Family Apart, in a typically FTV move, opens surprisingly with some straight rock riffage from Katsumi, before settling into the familiar cosmic jazz groove, drifting along in the most pleasing fashion. While being laid-back, the tune has more than enough going on to bamboozle the by now deeply involved listener, as it reaches its insistent crescendo.

The first album ends with A Cornucopia of Riches, which is kinda self-explanatory. The sound on this one somehow seems fuller, richer, but that was probably the intention. It always makes me smile how French TV are listed as “RIO/Avant Prog” on prog nerds’ Bible, Prog Archives. They may be baffling, humorous, and sometimes wilfully and knowingly pretentious, but “avant” they are not. Most of all, this band is fun! Don’t let labels put you off, there is enough here to put a smile on the face of Mr & Mrs Adversity, no matter their musical preferences.

Disc two is a live in the studio recording of the band’s setlist from 2018’s Chicago Progtober festival, right down to a shouted “Good afternoon everybody” at the start of the second track. It includes a Steppenwolf cover, two versions of tracks from disc one, and a choice selection of the band’s gloriously tumescent back pages. Katsumi’s sustain guitar intro to opener Ghost Zone/Noble Obelisk is quite lovely, and the latter part of the tune highlights the band’s not inconsiderable chops in a delightful manner.

The pseudo-live disc is far more “rock” oriented than its more traditionally “studio” counterpart, and the version of This Decadent Poetry is Awful is a neat confirmation of that observation, with some great toing and froing between the keys and guitar. Pat’s synth skills are also well to the fore on The Odessa Steps Sequence, which takes references from The Knife, of all things, and is similarly urgent, triumphally marching on into heavy prog Valhalla on the back of a surging guitar sequence. Not ’arf! Look at the Bears! (x3), always one of my personal favourites from the band, is here given more meat on its bones as it corners you in the forest. Don’t move, it will rip you to bits. Black Pit is the Steppenwolf cover, but not being familiar with the original, all I can say is, it fits in nicely.

As with any decent band, the proof of the pudding is in the live playing, and there are no let downs here, the whole thing sounding nicely urgent, but also controlled and well rehearsed. It was never likely that French TV would ever make it to these benighted shores even prior to the plague visitation, but now I guess “unlikely” has become “impossible”, given logistic and economic considerations, which is a great shame.

TRACK LISTING
CD 1: Sort of Live in the Studio

01. Unexpected Secrets of the House of Mystery at the Witching Hour (8:32)
02. This Decadent Poetry is Awful (5:01)
03. Stubby Index Finger (7:55)
04. The Museum of Worthless Inventions (7:43)
05. That Jigsaw Puzzle is Tearing Our Family Apart (6:25)
06. A Cornucopia of Riches (9:23)

Total Time – 45:03

CD 2: Live in the Studio
01. Ghost Zone/Noble Obelisk (8:31)
02. This Decadent Poetry Is Awful (5:00)
03. The Odessa Steps Sequence (9:44)
04. Look At The Bears! Look At The Bears! Look At The Bears! (9:20)
05. Conversational Paradigms (7:43)
06. That Thing On The Wall (8:51)
07. Black Pit (3:55)
08. A Cornucopia Of Riches (9:50)

Total Time – 62:56

MUSICIANS
Katsumi Yoneda – Guitars
Mike Sary – Bass
Pat Strawser – Keyboards
Jeff Gard – Drums
Mark L. Perry – Drums

ADDITIONAL INFO
Record Label: Pretentious Dinosaur Productions
Country of Origin: U.S.A.
Date of Release: 1st June 2020

LINKS
French TV – Website | Facebook | Bandcamp

Edition 254 of Sounds That Can Be Made is now available as a podcast!

Playlist:

Blackfield – Summer’s Gone (from For The Music)
Gazpacho – Fireworker (from Fireworker)
Fish – Garden of Remembrance (from Weltschmerz)
jhimm – Static (from Absent)
Man-Akin – The Rift (from The Rift)
Wolverine – The Bedlam Overture (from Machina Viva)
Refugee – Grand Canyon (from Refugee)
Kansas – Death of Mother Nature Suite (from Kansas)
The Pineapple Thief – Nothing at Best (from Someone Here Is Missing)
Soup – She Had Set Out to Find the Sun (from Children of E.L.B.)
Gordian Knot – Redemption’s Way (from Gordian Knot)
The Gathering – Mandylion (from Mandylion)
Haken – Cockroach King (from The Mountain)
Amplifier – Glory Electricity (from Amplifier)
IQ – Life Support (from Frequency)
Pendragon – Empathy (from Passion)
Marillion – White Paper (from F.E.A.R.)
Galahad – Smoke (extended edit) (from Seas of Change)
UFO – Love to Love (from Lights Out)

#progzillaradio #stcbm

This news story was originally published here: https://theprogressiveaspect.net/blog/2020/08/29/kyros-celexa-dreams/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=kyros-celexa-dreams

There was a period in the 1980s when new technology became an integral part of popular music and it was an exciting time. Bands like Duran Duran, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Scritti Politti, and clever chaps like Nik Kershaw became part of the rock fan’s record collection and this use of computers in turn added an influence (at least keyboard wise) to Prog outfits like Rush, Spock’s Beard, and Frost*.

The latest album by young Progsters Kyros seems to have set their collective sights on returning to this era and the results are, as Frankie might have said, quite marvellous. Led by all round everything guy Adam Warne, who began this musical quest with 2014’s Synaesthesia followed by the quite remarkable Vox Humana, Celexa Dreams continues the legacy with a more direct cross over to the commercial but with a modernity that is enjoyably based in the future passed. Talking of the soon to be, that is where physical copies of this latest recording will be found as the invasion by the Covid Nineteenoids has delayed the CD format so far.

Signed to White Star Records, which is co-headed by John Mitchell of Lonely Robot, etc. fame, Kyros’s new direction begins to make sense as the ‘sound’ fits into that contemporary prog genre like water in a puddle and sheens this release with a quality veneer of synth-pop, but with Adam Warne’s vocals distinctively applying the patent to the brand so this cannot be a record by anyone else.

In Motion and Rumour have drums allegedly played by Robin Johnson, but he must be controlling a Transformer with scaffolding poles for sticks, huge whacks of speaker bothering thumps. Now add third track, the very Proggy In Vantablack, and the first three tracks become a blur of orchestral keyboard punches and Rush-like bigness. That band’s Signals and Hold your Fire come to mind, but this is an entirely different approach, slap bass, keyboard washes with precise guitar fills loofering your back and cleaning your ears out like a badly timed bomb disposal operation. There are shades of Kershaw’s The Riddle in the approach but with the musicianship turned to “best” in the resolution stakes when the print can only be top of the range for these classy performers.

Not that it’s all retro, Ghost Kids uses synth duvets which segues into slow runner Phosphene, where colours run into each other but the edges are still visible. Returning to Technology Killed the Kids, that has been part of all three albums and this time in its third phase, this is where previous albums meet and connect with strong hints of America’s Native Construct in the quirk and metallic sections. Progression at its heart is abundant. It edits into Sentry and anything resembling pop music is now prostrate and slowly bleeding on the studio floor as this track is back to form in the Prog Rock stakes, albeit with the same huge drum kit.

Two Frames of Panic has a very Frost*y feel but with that nostalgic keyboard single key press that releases entire orchestral chords. These used to be played on the Fairlight CMI, whose cost could have bailed out entire countries, but apparently Adam Warne’s weapon of choice is the Korg Kronos 73, which when played with the right hands can move mountains, and that giant rock certainly gets a good kicking. There’s hints of Muse now and this probably points at a future direction.

UNO Attack is an instrumental showcase that proves what accomplished musicians this band are. Joey Frevola’s guitar weaves majestically in and around the keyboards, underpinned by Peter Episcopo’s funky bass and then the constant battering ram drums that razor anything in its path whilst those massive keyboard thrusts simply bayonet the mix.

The album could end there, but one big treat is left in the form of the beautiful Her Song is Mine and the best thing that Paddy McAloon never wrote. A charming and yearning love song that you’ll want to hear for years, in fact the song would work as the soundtrack to The End of Days with a plaintive violin that says “Well actually, it was all rather good, wasn’t it? Thanks God…”

Radio friendly, competent, and almost too good for the charts, these ten tracks, however, are exactly where they belong. Anyone out there with a bit of insider influence? Honestly, Adam Warne’s now three album concepts should be ruling the world. Fire up your poshest hi-fi (the one that goes loud and annoys the neighbours) and push play. An ’80s revival is long overdue and the combination of, maybe, ABC and Prefab Sprout cloned with keyboard=era Rush, everything Trevor Horn has ever stood for, and then measured digitally and sync’d with an atomic clock. This is a cracking record.

TRACK LISTING
01. In Motion (5:35)
02. Rumour (4:33)
03. In Vantablack (14:00)
04. Ghost Kids (1:16)
05. Phosphene (5:37)
06. Technology Killed The Kids III (10:10)
07. Sentry (4:03)
08. Two Frames Of Panic (5:52)
09. UNO Attack (5:24)
10. Her Song Is Mine (5:43)

Total Time – 62:15

MUSICIANS
Adam Warne – Vocals, Keyboards
Robin Johnson – Drums, Percussion
Peter Episcopo – Bass, Vocals
Joey Frevola – Guitars

ADDITIONAL INFO
Record Label: White Star Records
Country of Origin: U.K.
Dates of Release: Digital – 19th June 2020 | CD – 21st August 2020

LINKS
Kyros – Website | Facebook | Bandcamp