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Thank You Scientist - Stranger Heads Prevail CD (album) cover


Thank You Scientist


Crossover Prog

4.12 | 252 ratings

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Il Bambinello
4 stars It was in the air. I had quite for some time found myself listening - without real satisfaction - to lots of different band and artists, some well enstablished and others quite unknown; I was in search of something new to listen, a kind of thing that happens when you are a good music fan.

Then I stumbled upon this new prog band (they have been around since 2011 but somewhat "legitimated" by a record label only in 2014), a septet mixing lots of genres in one original formula. Guitar, drums and bass are so happily joined by violin, sax and trump, not to mention additional musicianship. I found their first album not only stunning (Maps of non-existent places, 2012) in their daring blend of heavy progressive with jazz fusion, avant-garde and eastern influences, but also extremely exciting in their reminiscences of artists I love and are so very far one from the other ( The Mars Volta, '70s Chicago, Dave Matthews Band, Frogg Café, HoobUstank, Dreamtheater and many others). The band showcases in almost every track the incredible skills of the musicians at playing each their own instrument, though never forgetting how to build complex melodies and achieving a harmonic result not always granted when seven people are playing music of this kind.

Technically gifted, all the band members produce a very rich, multi-layered music, of the kind that every listen reveals something new, and, personally speaking, that's what I seek in the music I buy.

This second album, Stranger Heads Prevail, has the difficult task of keeping the bar high, and it seems to succeed. Partially. At a first listen, the starting tracks - prologue apart - perhaps suffer from excess of grandeur, and I can understand why for some this band's music sounds like 'too much'.

Then "Mr Invisible" kicks in and sets a more focused pace to the central part of the album, with the fusion funky verse taking us thru soaring bridges and a jazz metal interlude to land safely on an immediate chorus. Fun keeps growing with the subsequent tracks: "Automatic blue" is groovy and powerful while the evocative guitar chords that introduce "Need more input" and the following instrumental avant track are the highlight of this album, somewhat excusing the noisy "Psychopomp" (where the band falls again in the 'too much' argument) and the okay songs that close the disc. To sum up, great musicianship aimed to compose great music. Probably a bit revved at times, but very felt and effective for the most part, at least for those who seek complex time signatures and daring play without sacrificing fun or melody.

Il Bambinello | 4/5 |


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