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A Lonely Crowd - Transients CD (album) cover


A Lonely Crowd


Heavy Prog

3.96 | 9 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Andy Webb
Special Collaborator
Retired Admin
4 stars The past few years have shown that just about anything is possible from the Aussie prog scene. Bands like Karnivool are finding incredible success in their local scenes as well as the global prog scene with their impressive musical explorations, while dozens of lesser- known but just as creative bands such as Ne Obliviscaris, Dead Letter Circus, Caligula's Horse, Pirate, and this newer outfit, A Lonely Crowd, have been changing the game and producing some of the highest quality progressive music the scene has seen in quite some time. While the 'classic' areas of prog like England and Germany reach their critical mass, areas such as Australia will be the new hotbed of quality prog.

A Lonely Crowd is definitely one of these modern Aussie bands who are pushing the envelope of modern progressive rock. Releasing their debut album User Hostile in 2011, the band is fairly young, but with their follow up Transients they show that even for their experience they have a mature identity and a strong musical sensibility.

Built around the amalgamation of dozens of styles and sounds, A Lonely Crowd's sound is a melting pot of alternative rock, heavy prog sensibilities, and an experimental nature that permeates their entire sound. Fronted by the powerful female vocalist Xen Havales, the band has a unique sound comparable perhaps only to the equally unique Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. The band, however, stays away from the rampant avant-garde nature that SGM embraces; instead, they foster a curious state of catchy experimentality.

While a song's melodic structure should be atypical of any earworm a listener may have had, I at least found a number of melodies, such as the one on Kamikaze Karma or Teliphiles, stuck in my head for days. The band's strong emphasis for carefully constructed instrumentation and well-articulated vocal harmony make for very mature-sounding compositions.

Compared to their previous effort, however, the band, in many ways, sounds reserved even for the energy-packed nature of their music. Songs like Sound Tripper and the finale The Wanderer show a much softer, jazz-oriented side to the band that was very underrepresented on User Hostile. This, of course, does not mean that the band did not bring any of their punk-fueled energy with them, however. Plenty of songs, such as Voodoo Tube, show a THRAK-era King Crimson-esque avant/punk instrumental sensibility that fuses gorgeously with the airy female vocals. On the other hand, the band also maintains their very conservative songwriting ability as well, showcasing their fairly straightforward and very catchy songwriting style, such as on Blur.

In the end, just like their previous effort, Transients is an incredibly varied effort from the band. While the band sounds slightly reserved and packaged at a few select points, the overall effort is a more mature offering from the band. While the band may still be working out what style really makes them tick, they are not afraid to explore every avenue they have on their musical roadmap. The music, however, is just as exciting as I hoped it would be when I heard User Hostile for the first time back in 2011. I think in the coming years, A Lonely Crowd will condense their sound into a focused, mature, and impressive display of eclectic heavy progressive rock. 4+ stars.

Andy Webb | 4/5 |


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