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Gazpacho - Tick Tock CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

4.04 | 485 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars After three rather tentative albums to start their career, GAZPACHO exploded on to the modern prog scene with the stunning 'Night', a deceptively simple but deeply rich concept album that virtually redefined the concept of 'flow'. Hopes have been high for this, their follow-up to 'Night'. Hopes, I am happy to say, that have been realised with this release.

In my opinion GAZPACHO have left the field of contemporary neo-prog floundering in their wake. Most people think of neo-prog as somehow 'dumbed down' from classic prog rock, but that view is too simplistic. What GAZPACHO offer us with 'Tick Tock', as they did with 'Night', is the extended development of a theme. A simple, repetitive rhythm - as implied by the album's title - sets the foundation for the most delicious of slow builds, as the musical tension is ever so slowly wound up. There's no wild dynamics as one experiences with bands like OPETH - acoustic guitar one moment, a volcano of sound the next - instead we are engaged with a carefully plotted journey, a clicking, insistent train ride where the scenery slowly becomes more dramatic, narrated by Ohme's syrupy voice. Male voice choirs, the occasional thunder of drums and rumble of power chords: these punctuate the journey but are not stopping places. Despite the limited canvas, particularly of the rhythm, the emotional impact of this album is no less than that of much more dramatic work.

At first listen 'Tick Tock' sounds banal. It is certainly not easy to penetrate. It has the feel of a space-rock record, almost ambient in places, and there are fewer hooks here than in 'Night'. The key to this album is perseverance, which is why I'm so glad it is less than fifty minutes long. No self-indulgence here. The album is substantially two songs, The Walk and Tick Tock (note how both titles imply repetitive rhythm), and both are epic. They are bookended by two more accessible tracks, the heavier 'Desert Flight' and the beautiful 'Winter is Never'. But because of the repetitive rhythmical motif, the album's tracks flow together to make identifying particular moments of brilliance less important than the overall feel of the record.

And in the end that's what matters. This record may or may not be as good as 'Night' - I'm not sure yet - but it is a fine thing nonetheless, carefully crafted, a rewarding emotional journey and an all-too-rare masterpiece of modern prog. Those who enjoy their music with subtlety and flow are in for a treat.

russellk | 5/5 |


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