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Automatic Fine Tuning - A.F.T. CD (album) cover


Automatic Fine Tuning


Heavy Prog

3.55 | 66 ratings

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3 stars Automatic Fine Tuning's career was short, but they managed to left a document of high-octane instrumental guitar Rock.These Englishmen reputedly came from Reading and were led by the duo of Paul MacDonnell and Robert Cross on guitars with Trevor Darks handling the bass and Dave Ball being responsible for the drumming and the scarce vocals.They recorded their only album ''A.F.T.'' for Charisma in 1976, the sessions took place at La Maison Rouge Mobile in Ridge Farm, Surrey.

The sound of the band is all over the place, borrowing the twin guitar lines of WISHBONE ASH and taking them to the next level, throwing complex twists ala KING CRIMSON, some Heavy Rock pounds in the vein of T2, more melodic parts along the lines of CAMEL, extended Fusion instrumental mannerisms and even some sort of Classical orientations, which was the trademark of the band.Even more impressive they did it by producing two 15-min. long instrumentals without falling in cliche soloing or excessive jams.It appears that one of the electric guitars has somewhat taken the role of keyboards in the album, the sharp and furious lead parts are complemented by lovely Classical-styled soloing.Very strange, but this works pretty well for most of the album's length, which has a nice flow and an unmet spark.Extremely accomplished musicians and composers at the very end, the bass work is great and the drumming is even greater, almost flawless.The long tracks are of course the peak of the album, lots of nice leads and rhythms, melodic and almost dramatic-sounding solos and plenty of well-placed breaks.The farewell ''Queen of the night'' is the only track to feature some vocals and apparently moving into a more straightforward Rock vein.Credits should also go to Americans Loyd Grossman and Neal Grossman (the album's producers) for the excellent work on the album as well.

The band propably dissapeared after the release of the album and only Trevor Darks has been spotted a couple of years later as a member of Gilli Smith's Mother Gong combo.

Guitar-fronted, mostly instrumental Prog Rock with fiery soloing, challenging moves and even some fascinating melodies.To be discovered, one of the best 70's outputs within the simplistic formation of guitar/bass/drums...3.5 stars.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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