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MOONSHINE

Collage

 

Neo-Prog

4.00 | 264 ratings

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Verisimilitude
3 stars I was interested to hear what this Polish Neo Progressive band would sound like and I'd have to say that perhaps I was mildly disappointed and impressed at the same time. They have a more orchestral sound than Clepsydra, but are otherwise not too dissimilar from the Swiss band, although Robert Amirian is not as powerful or confident with singing in my opinion. "Heroes Cry" is an impressive opening track but is perhaps too synthesised for my taste. Moonshine seems to have a lack of direction, with keyboard and guitar solos thrown in aimlessly and without any sort of lead in. Although this does not mean that there is a lack of talent in terms of the music. on the contrary, the level of the playing makes up for the lack of direction and elevates Collage above similar music. It's like they're a talented band of musicians that have been thrown together overnight and are just having an over-hyped and over-planned jamming session, but it's still an album with little meaning other than to pump sound out of your speakers. "In Your Eyes" is one of the more satisfying songs to listen to, although Robert Amirian does sound a little shaky on vocals, I can't stop hearing a Genesis influenced piece of music before me. It is impressive for two reasons. Firstly because it's got a rich and satisfying sound and not over intrusively synthesised with keyboards. Secondly because it's 14min worth of music not 3.5min of music repeated four times. The more I seem to listen to Collage the more I begin to like them, but perhaps this serves as a warning and raison d'Ítre for my somewhat low rating; it's a sound that evolves more over time and doesn't immediately hit as an outstanding piece of work. "Living in the Moonlight" succeeds as a simple and well-written song and a break from the pace of previous tracks, which is something I appreciated. Perhaps because the music is based around the vocals and not the other way around it's not a frantic and out of control sound that some of the other songs seem to convey. "The Blues" begin to sew a strange theory into my head and no doubt as controversial as the rating of Collage itself. Perhaps it's the subtly accent on European singers that prompts me to relate them to A-Ha and A-Ha's better known performance at the beginning of James Bonds 'The Living Daylights'. So when "The Blues" becomes more upbeat at 4:36min I have an elaborate vision of Timothy Dalton exploding onto the scene of an 80s James Bond set, which is something that I started to relate to Collage's other songs. However, unlike James Bond movies, every song never seems to get past the James Bond intro theme and doesn't develop into something more exciting. Although James Bond intros are important they are usually the prelude for an exciting and explosive display of cinematography, which is perhaps the best reasoning I can give for not bonding well with Collage's Moonshine. note: poor pun intended. "Wings in the Night" is a mixture of catchy melodies overrun by frantic moments of over synthesised solos and even more frantic guitar playing. I'm still not sure why it doesn't deserve a better rating, because every time I reflect again on their music I find it better sounding and better structured. My mum decided to prefer Collage's Moonshine over Clepsydra's Alone (2002), the reasoning she gave was that it was "more interesting to listen to". She had a point, but that's still not my opinion and she also pointed out that "it's interesting that men and women are attracted to different music, it's usually not the same." So I suppose that based on my mum's words, Collage would be better suited for the female proger? I'm sure it's suitable for everyone to an extent and I'm some sort of exception, to the degree where I can't bring myself to give it a better rating. "Moonshine" is the standout track on the album for me. Good, positive drumming hold the key to the intro, but it also evolves beyond the "James Bond intro" theorem and has more structure around it. The lyrics are also well-sung and amusing to a degree. "Now you think you're safe in your blue sedan. Hiding dreams in paperback. But sometimes you wake up with your screaming eyes. Moonshine seems too bright" Moonshine does have some great moments and without a doubt is Poland's most talented Neo Progressive rock band to have emerged. However, they do suffer from the "James Bond intro" theorem (as I explained earlier) and I'm sure other European progressive music will continue to be harshly compared due to the James Bond scars that 'The Living Daylights' left me with. Their talent was their greatest asset; I'm just not attracted to their music to rate this one any higher. Yet they are a band definitely beyond considering, I suggest you sample some of their music and make up your own mind.
Verisimilitude | 3/5 |

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