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RPWL - The RPWL Experience CD (album) cover

THE RPWL EXPERIENCE

RPWL

 

Neo-Prog

3.46 | 129 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

mpomy
4 stars I was lucky enough to get an advance ciopy of this record and I can't wait for the real thing. I think knowing how well they've studied Pink Floyd helps me appreciate what's happening. Pink Floyd is, more than any other band, the reason I started to like, not just progressive, but ALL music. RPWL is not like other 'neo-prog' I've heard and loved. There is a more organic and unified sound. The instruments don't stick out, even during solos. The drums don't pop out of the mix, the opposite of a Mike Portnoy recording. It's a great plan, because it focuses on the compelling lyric approach and just the song as a whole, instead of everybody's individual skills. I almost wish there was just a little more spotlighting (is that a word), but I'm happy to exchange Yes-like showmanship for great rock-and-roll music.

Anyway, the first track tries to 'heavy' things up a bit, but without great success. this band is more about a direct approach. The second song ('Breath In Breath Out') is where their formula soars. Under four minutes, yet supremely dramatic (as good prog should be) and even catchy. How do do they do that? 'Where Can I Go' is a great old psychedlic-blues. This really shows the old Floyd influence, as well as a nice Beatles influence in the vocal harmony. The music is simple and effective.

The next song is a dirge-like cover of Dylan's 'Masters of War, vaguely remeniscent of Hackett's dirge- like cover of Dylan's 'Man in the Long Black Coat' on 'Wild Orchids'. I'm a HUGE Dylan fan, so I'm not big on these covers. I like that they like old Bob, but these covers seem more for the artist's benefit (i.e. RPWL and Hackett) than for the listener's.

'This is Not a Prog Song' is one of the great tongue-in-cheek ruminations on the music we all know and love. I love this song and find it to be riotously funny. Despite what I've said above, there's some huge guitar soloing. It's all the more impressive that these guys are not native english speakers.

The second half of the record gets back to business. 'Watch Myself' brings back that psychedelic feel with heavily reverbed vocals and nice simple chords. The effect is not like neo-prog at all, but more like a very confident and sincere modern rock. 'Stranger' is a bit more traditional in a prog sense. Nice mellotron and different stops and starts. The heavy guitars of Dream Theater and that ilk are suggested, but the bridge/breakdown leads to something a bit different, a bit ruminative (is that a word?) 'River' is a quiet song that isn't afraid to go a bit long and still culminates very nicely. 'Choose What You Want To Look At' is their rap song, complete with moog/theramin solo. A bit more experimental, but effective. The obligatory big ending comes with 'Turn Back The Clock'. Acoustic guitars, mellotron, keyboard solo and soaring vocal. Very satisfying.

While I Like the album 'World Through My Eyes' a bit more, I'm still so excited to have discovered RPWL and I love that they're pumping out great new music. This is a hearty recommedation.

mpomy | 4/5 |

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