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TravelHouse - Mind Mapping CD (album) cover

MIND MAPPING

TravelHouse

 

Crossover Prog

3.48 | 7 ratings

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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Steeped in creative juices.

There's probably a reason why this band floated around for so long on this site before being classified finally under crossover prog. Quite frankly, there's hardly a way to classify the band and kudos to you if you manage to be able to. This electo-post-progressive-groove outfit sounds something like Porcupine Tree wandering half baked through some kind of trippy techno dreamscape - a blend between ethereal and the completely tactile. Somewhat pretentious niceties aside, this is still something of an exciting debut album.

Although completely instrumental the band manages to hold attention with various catches and interesting melodies. Throughout any song you'll find at least one recurring riff or something in the vortex of sound that you can grab a hold onto and remember until the next spin. One of the best things that the band could have done is start their CD off with the incredibly (somehow) catchy Route No. 1 with the robotic, Office Of Strategic Influence-eque voice repeating the title of the song over and over again. Things only get better as the somewhat more upbeat synthesizers come in and take over on A Guru In Love, one of those songs that manages to float around in your brain without threatening to tamper with it in any way, shape or form. That changes around the time of Black Coffee Mornings where the heavy-ass guitar tempo change near the middle of the tune induces head banging and leaves you in a daze.

The rest of the album flows more consistently than the opening three songs creating a torrent of electro-progressive sound waves to quench any kind of thirst that you might have. Of course, this isn't to say that the differentiation in the first three songs isn't a good thing, the definite line between the songs gives a good example of the different angles that the band will play off of over the later course of the album. Likely the definitive standout of the latter half is the three part Archived Travels that shows off a heavier and somehow at the same time, more atmospheric side of the band. Neutron I shows off some Joe Satriani like guitar wizardry while Neutron II attempts everything that Mike Oldfield did on his new age album, Songs Of Distant Earth, but actually manages to succeed in making the music interesting and worth listening to. The dual Dark Gentleman tracks are equally impressive with Travels With A Son Of A Gun (Dark Gentleman Unleashed) providing a narrow barrier between the band's different sides, often hopscotching between incredibly fast electronic madness, beautiful atmospheres and heavy ass riffs.

With their debut album Mind Mapping, Travelhouse have managed to create something likely to appeal to all the senses thanks to its eclectic style and somewhat accessible instrumental tunes. A well worthy purchase for anyone who happens to enjoy keyboard or guitar driven instrumentals and for people who just want to hear a creative explosion of mad proportions. 4 stars out of 5 for a highly impressive, quasi-experimental and certainly fascinating effort.

Queen By-Tor | 4/5 |

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