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Thank You Scientist - The Perils of Time Travel CD (album) cover


Thank You Scientist


Crossover Prog

3.39 | 50 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Prog Archives lists The Perils of Time Travel as "Crossover Prog," but if I had to assign an actual prog subgenre to this half-hour project, I'd be tempted to go with neo-prog or progressive metal. But insofar as "neo-prog" is more of an approach taken by an artist than a musical style of a song or album, Thank You Scientist probably isn't neo-prog because there's no apparent debt to first-generation prog-rock groups - - and yet they integrate metal in the same way that neo-prog groups like IQ do. There are also hints of post rock la Ulver among the five songs here - - does that make it "eclectic prog"?

It's hard to assign this album* to a progressive-rock subgenre because The Perils of Time Travel isn't a progressive-rock album in the first place (which means The Perils of Time Travel is probably best classified as "crossover prog," if it's to be listed on Prog Archives at all). Ultimately it's modern AOR, or maybe heavy AAA, a little like Coldplay or 1990s Radiohead. When its lyrics are at their most platitudinous ("come on baby, say you're mine," "gonna take a miracle to get back on my feet," "there's something about the way you move," etc.) it almost sounds like a metal Matchbox Twenty. There are occasional sullen, post-grunge moments, but they get resolved before long. There are also progressive elements, though not many.

There are plenty of non-progressive albums which are nonetheless great works of art. The Perils of Time Travel is not one of these, although by no means is it a poor album. The sound quality is very good; in particular, the songs are mixed so nicely that I hardly noticed the mixing at all. The instrumental performances are fine, and the singer also does his job well.

My criticism is with the material: with the songs themselves. To me the compositions and arrangements are generic and unmemorable. This being the first Thank You Scientist album I've heard, I'll withhold any judgement about the band itself, especially since there are some creative ideas here and there. It's also true that while this is the group's first release, its members refer to it as an EP, and thus specifically don't consider it to be their debut album - - so maybe these songs were cast-offs. Or something.

The long and short of it is that The Perils of Time Travel is a set of unexceptional songs, but with hints that better material is to come.


*Since it's more than 25 minutes long and contains more than five songs, The Perils of Time Travel fits the generally-accepted definition of an LP.

patrickq | 2/5 |


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