It is a nursery style again in line with the thematic title. This song truly grows on you with each listen, especially the wordless chorus sections. The way the vocals augment the music is incredible and the instrumental break here is alight with sweeping mellotron creating an uplifting atmosphere that dominates and builds higher into the clouds to meet the sun rays of very emotional string orchestrated sounds.
It is a majestic quality that only Genesis can maintain. The mellotron ends this and the final product is one of the most beautiful Genesis classics. There is still a tongue in cheek thread on songs such as 'Harold The Barrel' which paved the way for such storytelling epics as 'Supper's Ready'. Gabriel is delightful as he shoves it up the suits of an organised criminal inquest.
A "Bognor restaurant-owner disappeared early this morning" and the hunt is on giving Gabriel license to channel all sorts of whimsical characters, such as the Man-in-the-street who suggests "it's disgusting, Such a horrible thing to do, Harold the Barrel cut off his toes and he served them all for tea We never find out. This is reminiscent of all the Gabriel fuelled parodies on the English idyll, no longer a pastoral pastiche but a worldly attack on how the English behave; even with mocking phrases, "we can help you Here Gabriel is withdrawn and gentle and harmonious with other voices blending in a dreamy way.
The lyrics are sugar sweet and balladic but there is an edge that things are surreal and dreamlike. From the flames in the firelight. I would not rate it as a highlight but there is nothing wrong with some acoustic picking and harmonies from Genesis occasionally in small doses. Gabriel tells the weird surreal story and the track builds with glorious mellotron orchestrated in a symphonic crescendo by Banks. The story is a retelling of the Greek myth about an Hermaphrodite and yet it is captivating to reinvent the age old tale, a musical theatrical powerhouse.
Gabriel brings the story to life with his excellent vocal prowess, perfection of intonation and pronounced tone that is stirring and evocative; "As the dawn creeps up the sky, The hunter caught sight of a doe. In desire for conquest, He found himself, within a glade he'd not beheld before Where are you my father, Then he could go no farther, Give wisdom to your son, Now lost, the boy was guided by the sun".
The violining of Hackett's guitar is masterful and he plays some angular riffs in this that are repeated as a hypnotic motif camouflaged by Banks soft key pads. Gabriel chimes in with "as he rushed to quench his thirst A fountain spring appeared before him And as his heated breath brushed through the cool mist, A liquid voice called Son of gods, drink from my spring". The bassline is notable of Rutherford. An interlude of soaring guitar ensues, with strong rhythmic shapes from Collins on percussion, a strange brew of bombastic glory.
The bassline pulses stronger and some cathedral pipe organ is heard. I love this part and it continues to build to the next verse and the music answers Gabriel in turn. Pipe organ flourishes follow and a staccato organ that sweeps across a layer of frenetic bass and chaotic drumming.
It fades for a time and builds with the huge organ swells like sunlight bursting through dark clouds, rays of light across the horizon. There is a grand finale with simmering elegance that shoots rays of light at the end to culminate in an apocalyptic crescendo. Masterpiece track to complete a masterpiece album. In conclusion, ladies and gentlemen this is a classic legendary album that raised the bar for 70s prog, and subsequently this led to "Foxtrot" and "Selling England By the Pound" which are even better by comparison.
Genesis were at the peak of their powers with this lineup and they were to enjoy some incredibly prolific years in the music scene until the final decision for Gabriel to seek out greener pastures. The grass has never been greener though with the 70s Genesis sound; an indelible trademark style and a lineup that could be termed as lightning in a bottle. Part 6:Prog Poll through the years An amazing selection with new bands absolutely dominating the prog scene and legends releasing masterpieces never bettered.
This was ridiculously hard to come up with only 15 but here they are:. Poll Choice. Poll Statistics. Space Shanty - Khan. Three Friends - Gentle Giant. Argus - Wishbone Ash. I had to remove Others option as I made an error.
However there were a few suggestions:. Herbie Hancock's Crossings. It features the showpiece title track that spans the entire vinyl length of side one, a masterstroke in its day that was repeated by many prog artists and continues to be used to this day, notably Mars Volta, Dream Theater, and Spock's Beard.
This theme is based on Hesses' 'Siddhartha', a favourite of Jon Anderson's. The journey from materialism to spiritualism is captured by the use of sparse orchestral arrangements, featuring primarily Wakeman's organ phrases and the spacey guitar of Steve Howe.
These minimalist feminine sections are augmented by the masculine rock sections balancing out the quieter moments. The multi-movement suite shifts metrical patterns throughout and climaxes with the huge wall of sound that is essential Yes. There is a wonderful blend of pipe organ and Moog synthesiser building to a crescendo. The sonata form structure is powerfully realised, utilising an opening theme, transition, a second theme, and a final closure.
Mozart put to rock. The track is captured perfectly on live performance from 'Yessongs' and 'Symphonic'. Both pieces are masterfully executed. It begins with the beautiful acoustic vibrations of Howe, a real beauty that meanders like a flowing stream. Then we are thrown over the waterfall as the majestic wall of keyboards bursts through like sun bursting through dark clouds.
The vocals are simply awesome throughout. The next section allows the mini epic to breathe and changes a new direction that keeps the metronome working overtime with changes in time signatures.
Then the last movement is the apocalypse which is a soundwave of multi-layered textures and nuances. This is absolutely incredible music and the live experience captured on 'Tsongas' DVD sends chills down my spine everytime as the gold lights hit the audience and they stand in ovation as Anderson raises his arms like some demi god.
The final track is also excellent; the hard rocking 'Siberian Khatru' that features excellent guitar riffs and that pounding Wakeman motif with chaotic punctuation.
A very strong selection of prog was released and kept the prog genre very much alive and kicking. Drove me crazy trying to get this list down to 15 but this is a good selection.
I am stunned that this many masterpeices were released in one year, my favourite year for classic prog:. Illusions on a Double Dimple - Triumvirat. Herbie Hancock - Sextant. Billy Cobham - Spectrum. Tales From Topographic Oceans - Yes. In a Glass House - Gentle Giant. My Review. Review The entire musical arrangement is tighter and structured with instrumental breaks that are virtuoso on their own merits.
There seems to be a stronger cohesion and unification of melodic musical ideas, with each member having a chance to shine as never before. Banks in particular flourishes on classical piano pieces and lengthy synthesizer breaks. There are no lengthy epics but there are long songs clocking around 10 minutes, such as "The Cinema Show", "The Battle of Epping Forest" and "Firth of Fifth" that have become classic Genesis tracks, highly memorable due to lengthy instrumental passages, odd time signatures, key changes and mood shifts along with quirky thematic content.
The magical and most loved lineup of Genesis is here: Peter Gabriel, a tour de force on lead vocals, flute, oboe; Phil Collins, magnificent on drums, percussion, and vocals he takes the lead vocals on "More Fool Me" signifying his eventual ability to be the Genesis front man on Gabriel's departure ; Steve Hackett, a master of lead guitar, acoustics, vocals and electric coral sitar on "I Know What I like" ; Mike Rutherford, extraordinary on bass guitar, bass pedals, rhythm guitar, and cello on "Dancing With The Moonlight Knight" ; and the incomparable Tony Banks, on vocals, piano, keyboards, and acoustic guitar on "The Cinema Show".
Together they are perhaps the definitive Genesis, never to be surpassed for sheer musical excellence and creativity. Every track is fresh, ferociously original and first class. The single from the album came in the unlikely form of a song about a lawnmower. The drone of the lawnmower makes an appearance at the end of the track and it is very effective in making a statement that lawnmowing is part of the English past time, maintaining a healthy lawn is the key.
The lyrics are pure whimsy; "When the sun beats down and I lie on the bench, I can always hear them talk, Me, I'm just a lawnmower, you can tell me by the way I walk. It has a catchy melody that grabs hold and creates an ethereal atmosphere.
Rutherford and Hackett's acoustic guitars begin the piece and the natural progression to fully loaded synthesizer dominates. It has become one of the Genesis masterpieces that are quintessential to the group's long career. Gabriel's infatuation over T. Eliot is apparent in the lyrics; "I will make my bed, She said, but turned to go, Can she be late for her cinema show? Romeo locks his basement flat, And scurries up the stair.
In the reunion tour the song made an appearance to an enraptured crowd, as did many other songs from the album such as "Firth of Fifth". The tempo is a strong rhythm full of grandeur and majestic Hammond; a religious cathedral like atmosphere ensues. Gabriel is at his theatrical best; "Urge the sailors on, till lured by the sirens' cry", and the medieval theme of beautiful sirens luring sailors is mimicked with alluring music.
The interlude of synth and guitar embellishments with augmented keys are very emotive. There are tranquil melodies in one of the most celebrated passages of music generated from Genesis. The melody is played live on the DVD "Genesis in Rome" without lyrics and is as powerful and majestic as ever. And so with gods and men" the lyrics continue, presenting a typical mythological theme.
The melancholy piano is accompanied by an up tempo synth with a sombre guitar and these tend to blend together to build a solid block of sound. It is a mesmirising track and certainly a definitive Genesis classic. The epitome of the progressive side of the band is captured in the way the tracks vary so diversely from track to track. There is even a Collins ballad, his first lead vocal for the group, in the song "More Fool Me".
Perhaps this prophesises the impact of Collins upon the group in the s and indeed his solo career that was replete with power ballads. Yet the darkness of the battle royale is embedded in the lyrics; "In with a left hook is the bethnal green butcher, But he's countered on the right by Mick's chain-gang fight, And liquid len, with his smashed bottle men, Is lobbing Bob the Nob across the gob.
With his kisser in a mess, Bob seems under stress, But Jones the Jug hits Len right in the mug, And Harold Demure, who's still not quite sure, Fires acorns from out of his sling, here come the cavalry! The album ends with the reprise of musical motifs that began the album, a kind of cycle of musical ideas, returning to the past. Overall "Selling England By The Pound" stands the test of time as a bonafide Genesis masterpeice, undoubtedly among the best the band would create.
The single released in certainly didn't do any harm either as it peaked at 21 in the UK, spending 7 weeks in the charts. The album is quite simply a masterpiece with Genesis at the peak of their powers before they crash landed in the 80s. The album is one of my favourite prog albums due to the consistency of quality and I will always revere "Firth of Fifth" especially due to that amazing instrumental break where Banks takes off into full flight on keyboards.
The album is an example of how music can sound when all the elements are balanced perfectly; when everything was working right, Genesis were untouchable. And ah, the results. A growing understanding of symphonic patterns means lovely motifs, such as SQUIRE's bass at , can be played, stored and repeated with stunning variations later on. In between, the song's middle section showcases great guitar chops and a quite unique sound, in all its stereophonic glory.
Gloriously simple, profoundly effective, totally dependent on the platform they've just spent seven minutes assembling, impossible to achieve without the breadth of vision these men demonstrate, and utterly compelling.
At this moment in YES are balanced at the very peak of the musical world. This song, I believe, is perfect. Not a moment wasted, not a moment too short or too long. It takes me three minutes to recover, which is exactly why 'The Clap' works so well at this point.
The thunderous opening to 'Starship Trooper' notches the album even higher. Listen to that bass sound, that vibrating Rickenbacker, melting your spine with its power. Anderson's had a voice transplant, seemingly: he shows precision and range not even hinted at earlier.
Rightly, the uncluttered arrangements are centered around his stunning sound. Each transition gives the band a chance to show off their stuff. While other albums, even the excellent 'Thick as a Brick' struggle with segues, YES make it a feature of their work, with their very best sounds occurring in the transitions between parts. Wurm, now, Wurm. Three ominous, flanger-soaked chords given the STEVE HOWE treatment in a gradual build into orgasmic glory, enough to depilate the scalp of the most churlish music-lover.
The guitar solo at the end comes as a sweet release of the incredible pressure the prolonged build-up brings to bear on the listener. This is so far past mere mastery it enters into realms beyond compare. My only regret is that it fades out far too soon: that sound could march on in my mind forever. The instruments take a back seat, with GOLDRING's guest flute combining with a gentle acoustic and the regular thump of the bass drum to reinforce the reflective pace of the song.
KAYE's keyboard highlights the end of this first part. All changes as the instruments come to the fore, dwarfing the repetitive main theme. Another daring experiment; another success. Just listen to the confidence these musicians are now demonstrating. Notable for KAYE's excellent piano. One last monster, the surprisingly underrated 'Perpetual Change'. Winner of the most absurd lyric of 'And move the movement on the lawn' - didn't they put their 'No Dogs' sign up?
And we did, we did, for album after stunning album. Again, the interplay of the rhythm section is astonishing - what about that amazing piece at the five minute mark? For myself - if you haven't already worked it out - I can't think of music more representative of everything I love about this wonderful thing we call Prog Rock. Take a pair of fresh ears out of the drawer and give this old chestnut another listen.
This album is a big turning point for Yes and probably the most important point in their careers in the 70's : they drop the pop rock that characterized their previous albums Yes, from , and Time and a Word, from and start to make music much more complex and aggressive than before yes, Yes's music is in this period more aggressive than other symphonic bands alike, such as Genesis , they got their first line-up change, something that probably influenced the change in their music Steve Howe was tackling the guitar duties in Peter Banks's place , this was the album that made Yes blossom commercially and also was the last album of the keyboardist Tony Kayne with Yes in the 70's.
About the songs, musicianship and other features, there are somethings i would like to state: Pressured by the record company Atlantic to make success, the band spent two months in a farmhouse near Ilfracombe trying to create something completely original and new, trying to change their music, and they did.
This album represent a giant leap forward towards progressive rock for Yes: the album contains many tempo changes, virtuosi performances by the musicians specially Howe's playing style that is somehow aggressive and delicate at the same time and has a democratic composition style, something new for the band since Jon Anderson composed almost everything in their previous albums. All songs are great, but there are some that are better duh!
In my opinion, Yours is no Disgrace is the best song of this album and a killer introduction for the album seriously, the choice for the first song of the album could not have been better ; Starship Trooper comes in second and as the third best song comes Perpetual Change. Although at first i thought that The Clap and A Venture were fillers, now i see they fit well in the album flow and are actually very good songs The Clap is even kind of copied by Yezda Urfa, because Texas Armadillo have some similarities with it.
Grade and Final Thoughts I don't think that there is something else to say here, besides that this album is an absolute rock classic. Enter, Steve Howe. I personally find Steve Howe to be the greatest progressive rock guitarist of all time. He is able to match his skills and not substitute them for compositional skills either. Steve Howe has mastered various styles of music like jazz, classical and blues.
The mastery of these styles made Steve has many useful tools in his disposal, being able to apply any of these styles in Yes's varied song structures. Another presence he brought to the music is his use of other guitars that the former didn't really use, which is the acoustic guitar and pedal steel guitar, just to name a few. Steve Howe didn't change Yes per say, but he did climb right onto the ship Yes was moving in and made it to the helm right away. The best prog guitarist of all time, in my opinion.
Every song on this album is a good one, and the weak moments are all too few. This album is not a five star for me because it never had that ever-lasting appeal or the ability to make me feel like this is the most epic thing I have ever heard. None the less, I feel like this is almost as good as an album can get. The pop sensibilities in Jon Anderson's vocals just sticks with the music and for good reason, it fits. The piece keeps a simple form but the instrumentation is noticeable as being more prompt and just at the forefront.
I thought it was pretty nice, but just a flashy classical guitar solo, not really my thing personally. It features three different parts each having their own unique taste.
The vocal harmonies that would truly be at the top if its game on later albums was started with this song. I little bit of blues and pop mix with some truly identifiable leads by Bill Bruford. Perhaps a statement of what Yes wanted to do. This song is similar in style to 'Yours is no Disgrace' and features a classic Howe solo that presents many more to come from the man.
A great Yes song, but fails in comparison to the next few gems. This album isn't as good as the next few, but it should not be overlooked. There are quite a few really exciting tracks can pull any fan of progressive rock in. I highly recommend this album. Howe's lead guitar work throughout the song is extremely well-constructed and downright creative, and almost instantly, I see that Banks's replacement was a good thing. Jon Anderson's lyrics are becoming more obscure than ever, and his voice has finally reached it's prime.
Chris Squire's bass is more pronounced. All in all, this is one of my absolute favorite Yes songs. Howe wrote it to celebrate the birth of one of his sons, not as a happy-go-lucky tribute to gonorrhea, as the incorrect title might lead one to believe.
It was one of the songs responsible for getting me into Yes. Squire's tremolo-laden bass drives this song, and Howe plays an original riff with a clean guitar. The chord progression is simplistic but phenomenal under the soaring melody. The song has three distinct parts, the first of which returns to bridge the second and third. The first part is the best, and showcases the whole band the most. The second part highlights Yes's vocal ability and Howe's flatpicking.
The final section is a lengthy and repetitive segment that builds and builds until Howe treats us to a guitar solo. The second song of the track just gets a tad too repetitive, since the guys simply sing the same line over and over. Because these are two distinct songs, I've always felt they should have been divided onto two separate tracks, even if they will always be played together live.
I enjoy the simplicity of it, and the lyrics are entertaining. Here, Tony Kaye's piano work is at its strongest. The main riff is overused, and I do not care a whole lot for the bland chord progression. I've always found the part five minutes in rather goofy, and the way the main chords come in over the top of it silly.
Even Howe's distorted guitar playing is a bit pedestrian. All that said, I do like this song. The vocal melody is strong and I especially like the backup singing. Howe's clean guitar interlude is some of the best playing he has ever done. Kaye has one of his only synthesizer performances with Yes even though it's brief. And even though I said the ending was weaker than that of "Starship Trooper," I honestly do like the way it goes.
In , King Crimson refined and popularized the sound. In , Yes took KC's blueprint and twisted it into what would become the template for symphonic prog ever after. And they did that on The Yes Album. So when you pick up The Yes Album, you pick up a piece of history.
Few LP's have had more of an impact upon the development of prog. Keyboards have become much more than background atmosphere. Squire's growling bass influences bands far and wide. Howe's virtuosity overshadows that of Fripp. Anderson introduces an entirely different approach to lyrics. The ten minute mini-epic becomes a hallmark of prog. So much for the historicity of it. This album holds up really well.
What was good back in still sounds just as good today. So if you've not heard this landmark of prog, you need to listen to it. And if you've heard it, you probably will enjoy spinning it again.
Both enjoyable and historically important. Of course, this transformation was wholly owing to the recruitment of Steve Howe on guitars, a maestro who brought a fresh and cutting edge sound to the band lacking both previously with Peter Banks.
Although many people regard the commencement of the band to becoming prog legends as being Fragile with Wakeman's recruitment, I have to say that Tony Kaye is very good on this album. Yours is no Disgrace starts the album off very strongly, and already you hear the interplay between Howe's chords and Squire's thundering basslines - Squire, of course, is such a virtuoso that he might be playing lead guitar some times! I also love the Kaye organ part on this.
I regard this as being the band's first true prog song. The Clap is the Howe acoustic classic, the one we have heard so many times now live that some might be wishing for a bit of a change. It's good, of course, but I regard it as being a bit of a filler on the studio LP. Starship Trooper is, of course, an all time classic, right from the first intro bars to the pounding finale.
I never tire of hearing this, and I especially adore Jon Anderson as a vocalist. The notes the man hits are incredible. This song, of course, marked the beginning of the cosmic tag that carried the band, but would also drag them down somewhat with Tales from Topographic Oceans. I find it rather repetitive, although on this original version less so than later live versions. Again, Howe shines with his intricate guitar lines taking the band to previously unthought of heights. I would have preferred them leaving it at the end of Your Move A Venture is pleasant, but a filler I think was a hangover from the previous lineup, although I might be wrong in this.
The album closes with Perpetual Change, which is utterly fantastic. Kaye's opening keyboard blast is superb, strong, and sets the tone for the rest of the song. All band members play tightly, and Anderson rocks on this one.
A fine end to a fine album. Although I have the first two albums, I regard this as being the first proper Yes album, and it is well worth the four stars I have awarded. Highly recommended if, of course, there is anyone reading this who hasn't got it already! Here we've got everything YES will be known till today. Lovely melody. I do think this is one of THE great prog rock albuns ever, the time passes away and still think the same as I first listen to it.
Anyone who has listened to Yes with any seriousness, from that sentence, understands that this is the album where the band became a force to be reckoned with. To be sure, there was nothing wrong with Peter Banks guitar playing; he proved himself quite able in the first two albums, in songs such as Survival and Astral Traveller.
But Yes was striving to be more than able, and Steve Howe was the ticket to that. Yes continues the formula of starting each album on a high note, on this one with Yours is No Disgrace. The up-beat guitars immediately let the listener know that the guitar has been upped a notch, and the spacey lyrics now resemble the lyrics that would become a Jon Anderson trademark: "Yesterday a morning came, a smile upon your face.
Caesars palace, morning glory, silly human, silly human race. On a sailing ship to nowhere, leaving any place. If the summer change to winter, yours is no disgrace. It is a short piece consisting completely of Steve playing on the acoustic guitar, and is essentially a Steve Howe solo making him the only member of Yes, so far, to have a 'solo' piece on a Yes album.
The song is upbeat and catchy, and leads nicely into the next song. Starship Trooper is one of Yes' best known songs and remained a concert mainstay for decades to come. It is split into multiple movements, the first Yes song to be split such, hinting at the many times they would do so in the future. Following this song is another multi-part Yes classic, I've Seen All Good People, which is also split into two parts: An acoustic bit making references to chess, and then an upbeat section where the band sings the same line on repeat for a while.
Ultimately a catchy tune. The album ends with two underlooked gems: A Venture, which starts with a nice piano intro by Tony Kaye, lead into the main piece; and Perpetual Change, once again containing some high class playing from all members of the band. The only question is; does that make this album a 5 star album, or a 4 star album? Starting with this album, Yes released 6 albums that are each hugely successful and could be argued as essential, but some are better than the rest.
This one comes close to five stars, but it does not quite reach the lofty heights yes would at the peak of their career. A very reluctant 4 stars is granted. But the main reason for my soft spot for it might be the man on the keyboards: Tony Kaye. His keyboard work is so much more fulfilling than the ego-tripping of Wakeman.
Where Wakeman would squeeze in a keystrokes-a-second solo just to show off, Kaye will work for texture and use keyboard parts that actually enhance the song instead of smothering it. The frequent use of the Hammond organ gives the sound also more body then future Yes albums. Next to Kaye, the album features another favourite Yes member: Bill Bruford. His groove and sound are so unique that they bring all albums he plays on to a higher level.
I'm sure true Yes fans will rate Fragile and Close to the Edge higher but though I like them a lot, I would have liked Yes a lot more if they made more albums like this one. Greatness has to start somewhere, and though Yes have long since earned a place in the pantheon of prog rock legend, there was in fact a time when Yes found themselves in troubled waters.
Before "Roundabout", before Fragile or Relayer or any of the band's notable achievements, Yes were a psychedelic prog act with a pair of commercially unsuccessful albums. Yes and Time and a Word were solid records to be certain, but they weren't enough to keep Atlantic records happy.
Thus was delivered an ultimatum; Yes would have to notch up their act and attract some attention, or the record label would be forced to drop them. As it so appears, diamonds aren't the only gems to be forged from pressure. There's no knowing whether The Yes Album would have come together the way it did had the band not had that weight of expectation on their shoulders, but it marks the first memorable and style-defining classic of their illustrious career.
It has not aged as well as the masterpieces to come, but Yes ' fusion of pop-infused cheer with prog rock sophistication set a strong foundation for the band's golden era. Some will point the finger at Fragile or even "Close to the Edge", but I've always felt The Yes Album was the perfect point of entry for someone looking to see what Yes were all about.
Although undeniably rooted within prog rock territory, The Yes Album is an incredibly accessible album. Even in their unabridged forms, "Starship Trooper" and "I've Seen All Good People" have the potential to instantly stick in a casual listener's mind.
Yes would almost always have an optimistic tinge in their atmosphere, but The Yes Album is outright cheerful. The mid-paced softer track "A Venture" is a bit of a baroque, mysterious-sounding exception, but the majority of the album evokes vivid imagery of summer and bright-eyed wonder. I would say that there is a resounding sense of hope here, but that would suggest the potential for a darker outcome. The Yes Album negates darkness entirely with its atmosphere. Sure, the lyrics at times might be interpreted as less-than-cheery I've heard "Yours Is No Disgrace" commonly interpreted as being about the Vietnam War, I've sometimes seen the lyrics even regarding the fallout of nuclear war but even then, the only possible outcome for the subject matter is one where all is resolved and humanity flourishes with the power of love.
As optimistic as they may sound compared to prog rock both then and now, the rest of Yes ' albums didn't even sound as cheerful as this. The slow, unassuming closer "Perpetual Change" has never struck me as a particularly memorable piece, and "A Venture", in spite of its clever songwriting, tends to get lost in the woodwork of the album, dwarfed by the two epics that precede it. Barring that last third, The Yes Album contains some of the most memorable songs Yes ever wrote.
Even if the musicianship is kept to an expectedly high standard Bill Bruford's lively drumwork stands out in particular , the passages that focus on technical skill are few and far between. It's all about accessible, breezy songwriting here. Hell, "I've Seen All Good People" would have made a perfect radio single even in its unabridged seven minute form. Yes ' more instantly gratifying approach to progressive rock was likely what saved them from the cutting block, and the songwriting should only need one or two spins to get really stuck in a listener's head.
Therein lies some of the problem I've had with The Yes Album , really; it offers up its eggs so readily, and without any challenge to the listener. Especially with an album that's widely considered to be one of progressive rock's finest, I would have hoped and expected to hear an album that grows on me with time and age.
Instead, the wilful optimism and ubiquitous cheer only tend to wear on the nerves, given too much exposure. Like I said, it's a gateway album. With The Yes Album , there's no denying that Yes owed a large part of their stronger style and success to Steve Howe, replacing Peter Banks as the band's new guitarist. In retrospect, it's difficult to think of Yes without the rich, twangy and lively fingerstyle Howe brought to the table. Howe's classical guitar influence isn't as evident here as it would be on future albums, but he made a bold and adventurous introduction with the band here.
It's not often a recently added musician goes to such lengths to influence a band's sound, but Howe's addition only ever worked to the band's favour. Even upon first hearing it in its instantly gratifying glory, The Yes Album has never struck me as the masterpiece others attest it is, and of the three notable mini-epics here, only "Starship Trooper" gets regular attention from me.
It isn't as brushed up or thoughtfully arranged as the rest of the albums from Yes ' golden period, but that can easily be forgiven when you take the album in the context of their career. The Yes Album marked a strong transition from just being another psych rock band to a burgeoning legend of prog. If The Yes Album , in all of its poppy, pep-rally glory can be held to thank for making everything from Fragile to Going for the One possible, then I can only be thankful for its existence.
It's a great place for a newcomer to start with Yes , but make no mistake, there are far greater things to experience from them. Very recommended album for everyone new in Yes matter. The album opens with the smooth and memorable guitar chords of "Yours Is No Disgrace", a piece that takes the best out of several of the band members. I personally find this piece very interesting thanks to Steve Howe's distinctive guitar playing and Chris Squire taking the bass to the foreground.
The song is catchy, diverse, musically very interesting and really is a great way to open the album. The second piece is "The Clap", a guitar piece of Steve Howe which is performed live on this recording. I personally find this one a bit misplaced, which might be because it's a live recording on a studio album.
The absolute highlight of the album and perhaps more than only this album comes next. The sound of the piece is very warm and pretty thick.
Chris Squire plays some very fine bass, and Jon Anderson's vocals are as pleasant as usual on this track. The middle piece features some groovy guitar playing by Steve Howe, but after a short while reprises the first part of the piece. The final 4 minutes slowly build up towards an epic climax, featuring Steve Howe's somewhat psychedelic sounding guitar playing and Tony Kaye's warm sounding organ. The first part features gentle acoustic guitar playing with some pounding drums and soothing recorder playing.
The second part is much rougher though, featuring Chris Squire's amazing and razor-sharp bass sound and bluesy guitar playing by Howe. Jon Anderson sings the same very catchy line over this several times, though it doesn't get repetative at all.
Though not being a great piece, it still is a very fine song and has a distinctive sound thanks to the combination of Tony Kaye's grand piano playing and Chris Squire's groovy bass playing. The final song on the album is another piece close to 10 minutes. The song opens with some powerful chords, but soon moves to a very delighting melodic verse.
The choruses sound pretty unexpected though, and really are among the best moments of this song. After the 5 minute mark an up-tempo part will come in, featuring some groovy bass and organ playing, and being quite dissonant for Yes's standarts. The song ends with a lovely melodic vocal section over some nice instrumentation. The Yes Album is a great album I think, and some of the songs are definitely among Yes's best. The album isn't a masterpiece like Fragile though, but there's definitely not a very big difference in quality between them.
Also, this album would show the first signs of Yes's disinctive sound. Because of the these things, I give it a 4 star rating. An excellent album. The wonderful charm of this album, comes from the sheer enjoyment of creation that shines through in the playing. Perhaps unlike later efforts, listening to 'Yours is no Disgrace' or 'Perpetual Change', is like listening to five people having fun, yet being creative at the same time.
There is certainly a more mature compositional approach which may be down to Steve , but it is well balanced with the rocking vehicle of the rhythm section and the ever harmonious vocals of Jon and Chris, whose voices become more and more suited to each other with every album. Obviously no record as casually created as this one can be perfect though.
Kaye's involvement was diminishing a result of his own refusal to utilise anything other than his precious hammond and piano , limited now to quiet background chords and only one breif moment of creative freedom on the coda of 'A Venture'.
He would be fired accordingly, just as Peter Banks was less than a year prior. But when he's barely audible in the mix, it is easy to forget his minimal contributions and share the guitar-led warmth that embodies The Yes Album. And 'Perpetual Change' has all the ingredients of an extended prog work, with a busy, colourful middle-section that still appears to be impossible to carry off live yet was successfully replicated on every live performance after. This album isn't mindblowing or in any way thematic.
It is a perfectly captured 40 minutes of a band, simply displaying where they were at the time and why Yes is so special. Indeed, the addition of Howe, as important as that was, is not the biggest change from the previous two albums. At last, the songwriting of the band has reached a point where Anderson and Squire's ambitions could be justified.
For the first time, they stretch out and begin writing "epics," with 3 of the songs going over 9 minutes and another going almost 7. And they're catchy too! And how about the bassline on "Yours is No Disgrace? To me, the intro of that song just reeks of fantasy, science fiction, whatever. It calls up adventure, bravery, and all of that rot that belongs in good fiction. And that is really the key to this album. The tracks are legitimate songs, to be sure, with hooks everywhere, but more than that, they are essentially aural paintings to be interpreted by the listener however he wants.
Plus, just as important as the purely musical hooks, are the 'epic hooks. And that is key - just as there are "hooks" within a melodic context, an aspect that is able to grab and hold your attention from a musical perspective, so are there hooks from an imagery standpoint.
Relapse offered us a partnership where we call all the main shots and decide how to spend money on marketing ideas, etc. We have Getting back to your album cover, I guess you've seen countless Obituary logo future options with Relapse, for sure.
What's the most impressive Obituary fans display of devotion you've seen? I think the cover artwork is based on a brilliant idea, who is the artist behind it? Usually, the best tattoos we see is of the Cause of Death album cover. I remember one time some fan had their Does it portray the entire back covered with devotion your fans have Cause of Death.
Pretty towards the band, and so sick Andreas Marshall is the for our readers. Thank you too for the artist and he has done past support and to all the fans cover art for Obituary. The out there in Romania keep idea came from the song it heavy. My greatand John, "I have an idea grandparents migrated to for a cover with that title.
So, logo carved out of the we are related. Pretty cool, skin. It would be like a Huh? Yes, it is simple and holds many meanings. Less is more and it is also timeless. Why complicate things for the sake of complexity? We chose the name because it has it all. The major content of the lyrical concept is based upon the ancient Scandinavian religion, or rather upon the dark aspects of ancient Scandinavian spirituality.
Why was it important to explore this concept? It is a path that I have been walking for many years now and a way to manifest it in my creations.
I am not the kind that reads tons of books and studies things on a academic level. I work and live on gut feeling and to implement it in music is easier for me than for example writing a book on the subject. Also leading some roots into a more Satanic approach.
All due to where I am at the point of writing the lyrics. There are no simple truths but there are many ways to pay tribute to the eternal darkness. The Devil comes in many shapes and forms and with many names but is in essence the same.
The absolute opposition and resistence against the hypocritical rules that man has set up and call "good" or "God". Maugrim will still play bass on records, he is a fantastic bass player and has a good ear for the prefect bass lines.
For this upcoming show we will use Grim Vindkall. He is a multi talented musician and will be a good complement to the line up. We recruit him as a session member since he is a busy person with many projects going. We would of course want him to be on stage with us as many times as possible also in the future but it depends on what his schedule looks like.
Can you tell us a bit more about it? I think that you get the point pretty good from the answer to the previous question. The fourth chapter will be more abstract and spiritual. Last year you said that the fourth chapter will be a full-length. Is that really so? Yes that is correct.
We are working on it as we speak. When it is finished. When is the DVD due? We have no date set and no deadline In your latest release the artwork was an image to follow. It will be released when it is done and ready.
Are The band is compiling material for the DVD which you an art fan? How important is art after all? Why have you opted to include so and dark paintings. Preferably paintings from a time before this, when we cannot ask the painter why and how much material?
We want to include as much material as possible to make they were thinking. This is our first DVD and there is conclusions. We want to sum up the whole history up to this point and it is also a good way to How important is the artwork in a release? The artwork is the first impression of an album and if that impression is from each chapter included.
The choice of colors is concept among other things. People can send any also important. How did you come up merchandise. Are you considering doing any more news items like the Zip Hoodie but mainly oriented for with this idea? We see this as a way to answer the most frequently asked girls?
It is like doing that basic Yes, we are very proud of that! We would want to have a interview that we have done many times for fanzines and bigger variety of merchandise but we haven't had the magazines but in our own way.
A good introduction of funds to do so yet. The hoodie sold out pretty much the band. We came up with this idea because it is instantly, it was an overwhelming response. We have something that we ourselves would be interested in seeing been talking about a lot of different options but the fact is that a t-shirt is a must to have in the merch booth at the from bands that we have an interest in.
And "Necrology of the Witch" was the third of a four that has put aside other kinds of merchandise for the time chapter gospel about leaving this world. The first being. When will the final girlie t-shirts. We have no date set and no deadline Many of your inspirations come from classic Swedish bands such as Bathory, Dissection, Marduk and to follow. Ophthalamia, to mention a few. We wanted the first chapter to No I guess you are right. Inspiration comes mainly from explore the phenomena of death wish and the strong the bands I grew up with and it is still those very same attraction we all have for death, the longing for it and the records that I listen to today.
I don't have much of an mental preparations. The second part, which is the full opinion really since I don't actively check out new bands length album, is about the earthly preparations and and such. Too old, too cold, like Darkthrone said it. The coffin, the funeral Somehow I also think that to make unique music you can pyre, the sick bed, the tombstone, the dug grave and so not only have the same kind of music as you make on. I enjoy Scandinavian folk music for symbolizes the transition, Charon.
This is in no way something new, the we will bring closure and finally arrive. Who can forget the Storm album, early Ulver,. Why is Charon so important to the band?
The road upon which we all shall walk. The transition that we all will have to experience. The band has been active this summer with festivals.
How was it? Well this is not really true. We did a gig with Dark Funeral in May as exclusive support for their 20th anniversary show. Other than that we have been working on the new material for the upcoming album.
After that we set course for the album again and we have no other confirmed bookings after that gig at this time. We will consider our options after the album is finally out but we would of course want to expand our territory outside of Scandinavia.
Basically it depends upon what kinds of deals we can get. We are an underground band and don't have a large financial backup. We know that many of our fans and followers are working hard to get us to their countries but the main issue is as always money.
We are not rich and many arrangers and clubs can not afford to take down a band from Sweden for single shows. It is a bit of a catch 22 really. Why have you recruited him considering that you already have Maugrim handling that instrument? We had to make a decision after we sacked Niantiel from the line up and we decided to go on as a trio.
Maugrim is also a very good guitarist so his skills are more needed on the guitar and that left the bass position empty.
But we came to the conclusion that it is easier to use a session. But my own kind of style. I am not very fond of the Viking themed lyrics but it is something in the way the music talk that attract me very much when done well. So it's not all Ophthalamia and Mayhem but also lots of other different genres and styles.
But whatever I. You seem to be very conscious and "worried" about the money spent by your fans so you release a MCD instead of a full-length album because you refuse to include time filler songs. Yes of course! I don't like it when an album is sold at full price and have filler songs, like live recordings and such. Those should be bonus tracks. Or on a separate release. Also I know that bands make rush albums just to release something, be it to get rid of a bad label or for having something to tour with.
Everything that you release you will have to live with and you should be proud of every minute of music on your records, if not it should not pass the rehearsal room. I would rather wait another year for an album instead of getting a rushed and inferior product! The "Necrology of the Witch" MCD was originally supposed to be a part of a split album but that never came about so we took our songs, recorded the. Mayhem cover and included the "Towards the river of Styx" track which was originally intended for the upcoming album and made it a really solid and worthwhile MCD.
It became the perfect third part of the Charon suite. I like classical piano music like Edvard Grieg or Eric Satie when relaxing.
I also like The Doors a lot. Songs like "Riders on the Storm" and "The End" can go on repeat forever on my stereo. How do you manage playing in more than one band? I am a restless person so when one of the bands are going slow I can put energy on the other and vice versa.
But Cursed 13 works slow and there's no rush so we invest time in it whenever we feel inspired to do so and when there is time. I also do some studio work for friends, like mixing and mastering when I have the time for it. I will still contribute with some vocals and such for future recordings but not as an active member.
I am a musician and I spend all of my free time on music, be it rehearsing, composing, recording or going on stage.
It is the path I have chosen and it is what I am passionate about. My priority is to keep holding the devilish banner high and my trade is music. Please share a final message with our readers. Horns up! Hail the endless Darkness! Hail Chaos! Hail Satan!
Greetings and thanks for taking your time to answer my questions. Let's start with a few insights on your earlier days as a band. Rippikoulu started out as a Punk Metal band which for the year wasn't unusual, but after a few member changes to decide to adopt Death Metal as genre. How come? Who was the decisive person that made you switch for a more brutal music? Hi and thanks for doing this interview. Rippikoulu was a punk metal band at first like you said. The band needed another guitarist and Janne knew me Olli and asked me to join the band.
I came to band if I remember correct and I use to listen more metal than punk. That is how it all started. A year later, in , you recorded your second demo, Musta Seremonia, one that became a classic in the meantime and also influenced a great deal of Finnish Doom Death Metal bands in the following years. Please tell us the story of this second demo. I think we almost lived and slept in our training place years We had many good songs and we had great time hanging out together.
It was easy decision to go to studio and record Musta Seremonia. It all went well and that was made in two days too. I think it was and still is very solid and great demo tape.
How do you feel about it now, more than 2 decades after its release? Do you agree the second demo is superior in any aspects to the first demo? Like I said it is still a great demo. It has some details which are quite good still. And it has an atmosphere which is something I would love to do in all my future coming recordings.
I am not sure if it is possible nowadays. Everything is so clean and sharp today. And yes Musta Seremonia is much better done and mixed than our first demo. I've read that Rippikoulu was the first Finnish Death Metal band to use native language in their lyrics. What made you decide to go for Finnish lyrics? Looking back, do you think that was a good or a bad choice for the band? That becomes from the punk time. Our lyrics were in Finnish and we had a little bit of name in Finnish metal genre back then.
We decided to keep the native language although our music was changed. I think it was right decision. And you are right we were the first death metal band in the whole world singing in Finnish. Now there are lots of them. If possible, please tell us what happened with Marko Henriksson, your original guitarist. We have decided that what happened to Marko stays with us. There was nothing big drama tough. By the way, what does Rippikoulu means?
Rippikoulu is a good name for a punk band. Is it for death metal band? Rippikoulu means something to do with the confirmation. Most of the time it has been written right. Was that the main reason to put the band on ice in ? Out of curiosity, were you working on any new material when the tragedy happened? Were you preparing a new release? Have you received any offers from labels back then? Yes it was. We had couple of new songs back then. I was happy to see them in internet like 10 years ago and I got them from Germany.
Marko had traded the rehearsal songs to somebody. Valkeakoski is a very small town, how did you guys met? How and where from were you getting new music to listen to, and which bands influenced the birth of Musta Seremonia was re-released by Svart Records, and as far as I know they Rippikoulu? When Rippikoulu played punk the members was like the best friends and neighbors. Was Musta Seremonia Like you said Valkeakoski is a small town and when a couple of members changed it remastered or released in its original "form"?
It was a good decision. Svart has told me from some connections. I have known Janne and Anssi since childhood. Here is a that many people have asked them to release our first demo but I think it is not so good bigger town near Tampere where we did buy all our LP:s back then. There was some demo and maybe it is better to keep that in its own dark and secret world.
Musta good gigs as well. Bands that influenced the birth of Rippikoulu? Musta Seremonia was released in original hc punk bands like Rattus. When the music became form. What did the band members do until you decided to doomy and dark than before but the old resurrect the band? And what triggered the How much have you rehearsed until deciding to reunion? Was it recorded in a real Rippikoulu sound is over there. It was the re-issue of Musta Seremonia in traded back then? We had played couple of years before the first demo.
We went to studio just for a fun and we wanted to do a real studio tape. It was a real studio near Valkeakoski and we did that first demo in two days. It was something new You have recently released your first new recording in 21 years, the Ulvaja EP. We paid it ourselves. It was something like euros back then. I think we What's the band's line-up recording it?
Where have you recorded it? Can you tell us a few words on each of the 3 featured tracks and their lyrics? It is a story of loss and a new beginning. Loputon: Faster and maybe little bit blackish. Lyrically Loputon is a statement of loneliness. Ulvaja: Doomy ballad. Lyrics make honor to our families and hometown. Were you already known in the underground scene by ?
Was it hard to get gigs in Finland for a band like your coming out of a small city? Yes we had a little bit of name before We had some really hard core gigs around Finland.
Getting gigs was hard at first but after and our second demo it became a. How would you describe the new tracks to someone who's already familiar with your previous work? I would like to say that we are more doomy and dark than before but the old Rippikoulu sound is over there. What's next for Rippikoulu? Are you maybe planning a tour? There is no tour or even shows in sight at the moment but we continue working on new songs and I think the full-length album is the next step we take.
We are lucky to have gotten the chance to sit down with Rik Charron, drummer of Canadian thrash legends Exciter. Let's start with telling people who the members of Exciter are. At what age did you start playing drums? Rik: I started playing at the age of 7 and my parents bought my first kit when I was 9 or The drums consisted of a single bass drum, snare, two rack toms and a floor tom, 2 crash cymbals and ride cymbal.
How did you come to be the drummer for Exciter? John Ricci, the original guitarist, had auditions and I was one of the candidates. So, what was it like when you found out you were now Exciter's newest drummer? Rik: I was horrified!! Actually, I was amazed that I was the one that the band wanted.
It was a great feeling and also an eye opener!! I had to step up and realize that I was now a professional drummer on the world stage. It was alot to take in and it happened very quickly. We posted an official statement on our website Excitermetal.
In fact, he just quit! It was an internal conflict with one of the members that made him decide to leave the band. Which was in some way, I know he will. Death Machine. My personal favorite is the Dark Rik: Yes, he's a great guitarist and we feel that he's a good asset and could do the Exciter music justice.
We are Command. We are currently 2 Chinas a set of high hats, and ride , 2 DW bass drum rehearsing and polishing the material from all the albums pedals, Evans drum heads, AHEAD drum sticks. And I like to experiment with all right about us remaining as Exciter Any future albums planned for Exciter? You recently put out a statement saying John Ricci left Rik: We are currently writing new songs for an upcoming album. And I think it will be a killer album! But I think it Exciter. Why did he leave Exciter?
Rik: Well John decided to should actually be under a different name He told under the Exciter name and releasing it under a different us and we have the emails from John concerning this band name all together.
So that what we were contemplating to do and to What does and beyond hold for Exciter? But personally, I have mixed Rik: Not sure about Exciter, the band is on hold in my feeling concerning the band continuing as Exciter without view. This is one of my favourite electronica albums of the last decade. Released on Morr Music in , and produced by Italian Andrea Mangia, this shows all the hallmarks of a debut album - it is rich with melodic ideas and expression, and no amount of attention to detail is spared.
In fact, luscious opener 'Bottom 01' is cut off in its prime at two and a half minutes, when such a gorgeous conflation of melodic bass, sweeping synths, glitchy mesh and morphing arpeggios should ideally play out for about 6 minutes, and probably would on a 3rd or 4th album, when the life's-worth of musical ideas have been used up. I would recommend this to fans of Boards Of Canada, as it obviously inhabits the same sphere - the pace is hip-hop, and it is heavy on the melodic synths.
The beats here are somewhat lighter, and skip along more. There is more dynamics created by fading the volume up and down and panning; and there is a more delicate filigree of scrunches and glitches that help move the phrases along. I would say that the best of this album matches the best of BOC: the melodies are often exquisitely turned, and the whole sound is so perfectly at one, it glows with the obviously huge amount of love and effort that went into producing it. Summed up perfectly on the awesome 3rd track 'Flu', which is truly glorious.
I actually bought this on cd as well as vinyl, to protect my LP from wear and tear. Labels: ambient , Best of s , downtempo , electronica. From , this album is a wild blast of completely acid-drenched mayhem. It's a full-on, saturated melting pot of metal riffs, deranged warbling vocal samples, bombastic organ, stumbling drums, outrageous dub echo and distorted noise.
Not to mention the OTT moog-style burblings, atonal guitar leads, screams, bleeps and unidentified scary noises. All this is mashed together with little regard for niceties such as song structure or pleasing melodies, but it's such good fun to listen to that these absences are irrelevant. The songs tend to fade into each other, making this one long, crazed assault on your senses. Thanks to Dimitri for this one. Labels: abstract , acid , Distortion , industrial , krautrock , metal , noise , psychedelia , Rock , sludge , space rock , weirdness.
Another one of my favourite albums of the decade, and another blissful blast of analogue synthery. Released in on DFA, there is nothing punky or funky about this disc. It clearly harks back to the 70s peak of soaring, pulsing and oscillating synths, and contains 4 long tracks, all over 11 minutes.
There is also a definite 80s feel to this music - not in the crappy synth pop sense, but in the excellent-John-Carpenter-soundtrack sense: the arrangements are a bit more spare; the sounds are slightly less cosmic only slightly! There is also none of the stratospheric guitar work from the 70s - it's all synth, and there is also the same authentic sense of techno-about-to-happen: especially in the pumping bass arpeggios of 'Relevee'.
You can bet that if this was out in , the Electrifying Mojo would have been playing it on his radio show. The rather lovely cover knowingly represents this wilful embrace of the past, with presumably? Delia and Gavin in period dress, juxtaposed with the somewhat sci-fi title.
All this is secondary, though, to the glowing beauty of these four tracks. Labels: Best of s , electronica , krautrock , psychedelia , space rock. Monday, 30 November Pluramon - Render Bandits.
Schmickler was an early pioneer of of a fairly even mix of acoustic instruments and electronics - the kind of mix and sound palette which Four Tet had subsequent success with.
Most tracks proceed with a head nodding groove played on an acoustic kit, with layers of guitars both spangly and fuzzy; along with bass and an assortment of keyboards, drones and more abstract electronic burblings.
These moments provide a nice contrast, but the album is best when the heavy grooves chunter along. When 'Gloop' hits its stride and sucks you into the wake of the stomping groove, loads of distorted, edited and messed up sounds are smeared across the pummelling rhythm. Like much of my favourite music, this harks back to the more groove-laden German music of the 70s especially later Can , but the detailed digital processing and editing keep it modern and forward looking at the same time as well as trippy.
The predominance of acoustic intruments, especially guitar, maintains the warm fuzzy sound envelope and rich harmonics. Previous album Pick Up Canyon and remix project Bit Sand Riders are also excellent, and Pluramon has gone in a more shoegaze-oriented direction with recent albums reams Top Rock and The Monstrous Surplus, both of which are decent, and feature more vocals.
Labels: electronica , experimental , krautrock , Post Rock , psychedelia , space rock. Thursday, 26 November Black Heart Procession - 3. I suppose this would have fallen under the alt. This is a collection of spare, stark and very beautiful songs, with a consistent unity of character. All delivered in a downbeat, plaintive voice; and backed by a glorious palette of acoustic instruments, organ, piano, trumpet - all slowly stomping to the funeral march pace.
There are no highlights, because the whole album is brilliant and mesmerising from start to finish, and I'm not going to write any more about it. Labels: Best of s , Doom country , Rock , Songs. Tuesday, 17 November Groundhogs - Split. I'm thinking I should pepper this blog with a few more retro favourites. I love the music of the 70s, and not just the stuff that came out of Germany!
Groundhogs were a band like many of their contemporaries that started out as primarily a blues based band, like Fleetwood Mac or Ten Years After, and fairly straight blues rock was the sound of their first two albums. Things changed with their third album 'Thank Christ For The Bomb', and by this, their fourth album, from , they had gone down a far harder, darker and more progressive route.
Like the aforementioned bands, Groundhogs had a terrific guitarist - Tony McPhee in this case. Words like blistering and coruscating spring to mind when describing his playing on this disc: he totally destroys. Ostensibly this is a power trio, which is always a great setting for a brilliant guitarist - no matter how much the bass and drums pummel away, there is always space for as much noise as he wants to make. There is plenty of distortion and wah, and utterly compelling dynamics - you can sense an oncoming outpouring of guitar fury, and you can feel the serious intent take hold of you when he steps on the volume pedal and lets rip.
It's not just the lead work, though; the move away from the blues resulted in loads of interesting riffs, and open, flowing song structures.
McPhee's voice is not the greatest, but is perfectly suited to the music, and just sounds so 70s. They hark back to a more pure blues on the album closer 'Ground Hog', where Tony McPhee shows the range of his skills with some fiery slide on amplified acoustic guitar.
Posted by Yogradius at 3 comments:. Labels: prog , psychedelia , Rock. Rather glorious album by Guillermo Scott Herren. Possibly better known for his more hip-hop oriented project Prefuse 73, I prefer his output under this alias.
Although the beats aren't too far removed from hip-hop, they are usually played live, and have a more jazzy swing to them. There is also abundant use of acoustic instruments, too. There are some marvellous acoustic bass lines on here too, especially the utterly brilliant 'Te Quiero Pere Por Otro Lado This album was co-written by Eva Puyelo Muns, who provides vocals on most tracks, often double-tracked or in chorus.
They are very lovely, and an essential part of what makes this album so good. Also, there is a vividly sun-baked ambience and flavour of Spain where this album was recorded; and the heat-haze texture also calls to mind Sketches Of Spain.
As well as the expertly marshalled acoustic instruments, what raises the quality of this music is Herren's use of electronics - he has a very deft touch: creating an intricate web of complementary sounds. Sometimes there is some restrained processing of acoustic instruments, but the outcome is a tightly defined and consistent sound. I daresay having that man John McEntire in the mix didn't hurt, either.
Labels: downtempo , electronica , jazz , Post Rock , Songs. Germ - Gone. Although this is slightly primitive compared to weird masterpieces such as The Black Chair that Tim Wright would subsequently release, it easily matches his contemporaries, and is still sufficiently weird and freaky to be enjoyable 15 years later.
The sounds palette is bleepy and squelchy, with incisive percussion; the kick drum often being a fairly hard techno one, as opposed to the more metallic, crunchy beats being used by a lot of electronica at the time. I think this streak of darkness, along with the very trippy sound palette, keeps this album still sounding pretty strong and fresh today.
Labels: abstract , electronica , Techno. This amazing album came out in , thus qualifies for my best of the decade run down. I still listen to this and enjoy it as much as I ever did, 9 years down the line. The For Carnation were a post-Slint band, and have featured various Chicago musicians at various times, although the only two major players on this album are Brian McMahon, and John McEntire who contributes some extra instrumentation and who engineered the album remarkably well.
There are many of the hallmarks of post-rock on this album: the predominance of bass and drums; the ease and assurance with which slow pacing is used; mastery of texture. There are far more vocals on this than your average post rock outing, and this probably adds to the lasting appeal. As I said, this is beautifully recorded, and the slowly rocking rhythms are tight, and almost tense. There is often an ominous throbbing ambience, and delicate touches of spacy synths - heard to great effect on 'A Tribute To'.
The sense of melody is gorgeous, yet restrained - the carefully picked out guitar line on opener 'Emp. Man's Blues' is backed by gradually swelling strings to a blissful plateau. After this these two tracks, a sense of foreboding and tension is developed with the very moody post rock of 'Being Held', before another slow and majestic gem in 'Snoother', which sounds somewhat like Tortoise vs Bill Callahan.
Layers of spacey keys, shimmering guitar, and even a Goblin-esque synth line embellish this fantastic track. The last track 'Moonbeams' is probably the most beautiful. A distillation of what has gone before, and a coda, or resolution, too - a release of the slow-burning mood built up through the preceding tracks.
A very slow track, laid on a bed of spacious synths drones, punctuated by a lyrical guitar, some throbbing analogue sythns, and seen out with a swell of strings. I've namechecked a lot of bands describing this, but I think it is pretty unique, and a masterpiece that is amazingly undervalued. They are playing at the forthcoming 10 years of All Tomorrow's Parties festival - I hope this leads to a resurgence of interest and some further recordings.
Labels: ambient , Best of s , downtempo , Post Rock , psychedelia , Rock , space rock. An aural antidote to Portal, and more music by a lady. In this case it's Riz Maslen, and her album on Ntone. There are guitars, harmonicas, wheezy organs and a wonderfully fuzzy and warm envelope of sound. These tracks veer from soundtrack stlye, to post rock, folk, psychedelic 60s rock and beyond, and are remarkably evocative of hazy summer, the countryside, and something just beyond my comprehension that is everso slightly tinged with melancholy.
There are many moments of beauty - 'Cornershop Candy', which presumably features Maslen's own very nice tremulous vocals, with a deeply reverbed and harmonic guitar backing, along with sepulchral rumblings and mystic ambience creating a raga-like atmosphere.
Indeed, much of the feel and pace of the tracks is raga-like, as 'Cornershop Candy' fades into the similarly brilliant 'Train To Katoomba', which is embellished by some 70s cosmic keyboard flourishes. There are plenty more high points on this gorgeous album. It will keep your brain warm in winter.
Labels: ambient , downtempo , electronica , psychedelia. Wednesday, 11 November Portal - Outre. I haven't posted any metal in a while, and thought that this would be an apt choice, as they have an excellent new album out, called Swarth. Although this this is labelled as death metal, don't let that put you off if you are interested in exploring the artier and weirder end of extreme metal. This band is pretty unique, creating an abstract and disturbing miasma of sound.
Grinding and atonal guitars comprise most of the mix, with fairly restrained acoustic sounding drumming - as opposed to the clicky and springy sounding kits you hear in more conventional death metal. The vocals, although guttaral, are more of a despairing roar than a belching cookie monster. Even though the song structures involve time changes, and the playing appears to be excellent, there is a murky mystery, and it's often hard to grasp just what is being played - it seems just beyond the ear's reach, like an unholy mix of My Bloody Valentine and Deathspell Omega with added wrongness.
The result is a weird and unsettling album, and the imagery used only adds to this nightmarish feeling. Definitely a one of a kind mob; I hope they play in London soon.
Labels: abstract , black metal , death metal , noise , weirdness. There is a sister album to this - "With The Artists", which has the full vocal versions, and is brilliant. This album, though, is utterly sublime. Adorned with only minor snippets - the perfect amount - of the original vocals, the rock solid rhythms, subtle tunes, and brilliant textures are allowed to gently work themselves into your consciousness.
This is my soft spot on Yes as I think of it as the real genesis of Yes. An amazing selection with new bands absolutely dominating the prog scene and legends releasing masterpieces never bettered. We want to include as much material as possible to make they were thinking. At the center of Earth is a solid inner core of nickel and iron. Review: Chris Newby is doing a very good job with his UKEM Records, a label devoted to bring out the best of nowadays British A Sphere To Cleanse The Earth - Winter Deluge - As The Earth Fades Into Obscurity (CD Extreme Metal, and so far so good, he managed to release some cool stuff, don't hesitate to check his catalogue. I like "A Venture," but it is, sadly, rather lackluster. He never wrote any music besides 3 aliens and many more interesting topics. When will we see Amon touring Europe?
Можно-Нельзя - Варвара - Ближе (CD, Album), Animal - Pearl Jam - Star Profile (Cassette), Я Знаю - Тени - Сила Рифмованных Строк (Cassette, Album), Herz Über Kopf - Various - Echo - Deutscher Musikpreis 2016 (CD)