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N.y.X - The News CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

4.00 | 3 ratings

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4 stars This has been a much anticipated (and delayed) album release due to the number of all-stars guesting on it-- including Trey GUNN (song 7), Adrian BELEW (song 3) and Cuban jazz pianist, Ivan Bridon Napoles (song 6). Upon listening to it I am reminded of the work of Bill Nelson and his Be-Bop Deluxe--where Bill & Co. might have travelled had they continued in their experiments into 'futuristic' sound.

1. "Restless Slumber (At The Break Of Dawn)" (4:43) Heavy use of industrial/techno-beats and clever engineering tricks with elements of both jazz (particularly in the piano play) and ambient/electronic soundscapes. (8/10)

2. "Groundhog Day (Wakening, Dressing, Starting Up?)" (7:09) seering guitar shredding and 'crazed' TIM SMITH/BILL NELSON-like lead vocals make this a real standout. Plus, the bass line and techno drums keep us hoppin' along at a nice clip. Walt Nyx, Dannilo Pannico and Klod: you do impress! (9/10)

3. "A Sarcastic Portrait (Editorial, Home and Foreign?)" (6:14) opens with some techno-synth drums, keys and, again, the slightly crazed David Bowie/Tim Smith/DEVO-treated voice. Adrian Belew's contribution is not really felt until the solo at the end of the second minute, but he's there. The atmospheric pitch-bent note play at the end of the third minute are hypnotic (which, I think, is the intended effect--so that they could shock us with the ) Beautiful acoustic guitar picked section opens up and plays through the fifth minute. The final minute is a more melodic, slightly calmer return to the opening section. Awesome song! Could've been done in the 80s! (9/10)

4. "Discord (Domestic Policies)" (7:20) opens with guitars, synths, and vocals sounding much like the 1980's DANIEL ASH-led, post-BAUHAUS band, LOVE AND ROCKETS. The second minute opens with a fuller, almost THE CHURCH or XTC sound. Nice! The vocal hits some moments that remind me of Bob Dylan, Donovan, and even the late Michael HUTCHENCE (of INXS). Surprisingly sedate and pretty song (in light of the previous three racous, punkie three). (9/10)

5. "The Paper (Titles & Subtitles)" (5:25) opens as a kind of dystopian soundtrack theme, very emotionless, ruminating and robotic. The background sound of British news anchor delivering the daily news in the second minute is later mixed with a second voice track of news delivery. Interesting! (8/10) 6. "Oscillations Du Chaos ? Part III" (3:23) continue the theme and melodic sense of the previous song with different layers and sounds added (percussion, piano, old non-electric typewriter). (9/10)

7. "The Daily Dark Delirium" (12:52) opens with a PORCUPINE TREE Fear of a Dark Planet sound and feel. When vocalist Walt NYX and the "Popcorn"-like keyboard arpeggi enter it brings it more into the PETER SCHILLING domain. At 2:10 an insistent guitar strum enters (Trey Gunn?) and proceeds to take over. Man can the sound of that Warr Guitar take you places! Great sound engineering on this one! If there is a time when the quirky vocals of Mr. Nyx fail (or, perhaps they're just getting old--the novelty worn off) it is in the extended (and prolonged) vocal section in the fifth, sixth, and seventh minutes of this song. A little sampling of some CLASH, TALKING HEADS, FALCO, and LES NEGRESSE VERTES music and vocal stylings on display here. The spacey, DEPECHE MODE sound that takes over in the tenth minute reminds one of recent works of German solo artist, THOMAS THIELEN (known as "T"). I like this song a lot but it didn't really need to be a 13- minute 'epic.' (8/10)

I have to admit that this is a surprisingly refreshing listening experience--like going into a prog-minded development of the Euro-techno pop sounds and styles of the 1980s. As Adrian Belew would say, "I like it!"

4.5 stars; highly recommended to any adventurous prog music listener.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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