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Patchwork Cacophony - Five of Cups CD (album) cover


Patchwork Cacophony


Symphonic Prog

3.86 | 12 ratings

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3 stars Take 2 for Ben Bell and his Patchwork (and certainly not!) Cacophony alter ego. As with the debut album, ''Five of Cups'' builds on 70's progressive (and here a bit more on classic) rock. Keyboards being Ben's instrument, one could not but expect that this sophomore release is very keyboard-driven. And that is actually very pleasant to my ears.

There are two main moods here: one is the melodic, sophisticated piano-driven, clearly shown in the instrumental highlights ''Counting Chickens'' (with a hefty dose of Mike Oldfield-ian passages) and the more classical-music inspired ''From a Spark''; the second is a much rockier/more maverick approach which ties in with Ben's vocals in a similar vein. See for example the dance-like ''Choices'' and ''Chasing Rainbows'' and ''Maybe'' with bluesy and rock-n-roll glimpses filtered through a prog lens of (mainly) Gentle Giant with sparkles of Genesis and Pink Floyd.

The sound is (pleasantly) dominated by a very characteristic hammond organ, which seems to be Ben's trademark. It is this that provides a bit of uniqueness to the sound and some welcome nostalgia. With it comes the ''rough-around-the-edges'' and DIY feeling that was also apparent in the debut album. I guess this works to an extent as the album comes out as a very honest effort of musical expression and not necessarily to impress. This may slightly disappoint the listener looking for a polished production.

Where everything meets is the opening epic ''Fairytale'' which is probably the most intricate and interesting of the compositions (Gentle Giant, Genesis and Beardfish all dancing together) with plenty of mood variations, reminding me of ''Brinkmanship'' from Ben's debut. Although the debut sounds a tad proggier than ''Five of Cups'', there are individual moments here that may surpass it in quality. Another very good release from Patchwork Cacophony that boasts of determined musicianship. Worth a try.

3.5 stars

aapatsos | 3/5 |


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