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Lobster Newberg - Actress CD (album) cover

ACTRESS

Lobster Newberg

 

Eclectic Prog

3.62 | 21 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Epignosis
Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars Imagine Gentle Giant evolving into the twenty-first century, not merely rehashing old techniques, but adopting an even fuller sound and picking up a few jazz rock and alternative elements along the way- that is Lobster Newberg in a nutshell. This band squeezes so much into such short track times, a skill not an awful lot of progressive rock artists have. Colin Peterik's lead vocals are very indie-sounding and should find favor with a wide audience. Seriously though, Derek Shulman and Kerry Minnear would fit right in with this troupe. Folks, this is a sophomore album that is not to be missed, especially by fans of the aforementioned group. It doesn't hurt that there's a pair of gorgeous gams on the cover, either. Oh yeah- it's bouncy!

"Set Your Sails" Crunchy guitars and frantic organ and piano begin the album. There's a bit of saxophone raunchiness in the middle section, followed by a squealing guitar solo. Upbeat, peppy- this works perfectly as an opening track.

"Stay" A buoyant, jazzy track (wherein the vocalist sounds a bit like John Mayer), this piece has nice flute and guitar runs with a sprightly rhythm. The refrain is on the heavier side, but has a slight Gentle Giant flavor. The organ and flute interplay in the middle is really cool, and just then the band launches into a fuller segment with some odd piano bits.

"Bug City" This song has a slight blues-rock feel, with vocals over musical stops followed by the main riff. The bass work stands out to me, but there's a wonderful brass section, which I know would please Chicago fans. The studio banter at the end shows even more of the band's lighthearted side.

"Lost" The clavichord, electric guitar, and organ work hard over some drums and bass to create a thick, varied wall of music. The vocal line is very creative, and the instrumental section is like a heavier, fuller interpretation of that eerie-sounding part during Gentle Giant's "Schooldays." The refrain is equally imaginative, with amazing melodies and musicianship.

"Wonderful" The shortest track has lovely flute, piano, acoustic guitar, and Mellotron. It has a great melody, and makes for a decent song overall.

"Demian" Moving between complex rhythms and extremely simple vocal sections, this piece isn't quite to my liking, as a lot of it sounds forced, but it still manages to showcase the band's tightness and talent. The electric guitar and piano interplay is not to be missed, however.

"Illusion" Delicate piano and acoustic guitar start up the lengthiest track. The initial vocal section is decidedly simplistic, perhaps staying safe, but the actual singing is extremely well done. Lovely piano and organ weave their way over a punctuating rhythm, introducing heavy guitar and saxophone. This is a rich piece of music, full of life and happiness.

"Bed" I knew this song would be my favorite the very first time I heard it. I almost felt I could say that just by hearing the dreamy introduction and interludes. It boasts brilliant vocal passages and a great brass section (something I'm not big on generally).

"Tight Rope" This is a jaunty number, laced with harmonica and an animated rhythm. The bass solo is killer, right along with the harmonica and electric guitar jam.

"Silver Cities" The beginning of this piece, the piano notwithstanding, sounds like latter-day Rush to me, mostly thanks to the steady drumming and trebly bass work. The smooth vocals begin abruptly, and the song over all is good, if forgettable.

"Have You Ever Been Alone" The final track has some excellent organ and bass work throughout. The vocals are, as expected, good, and the overall, there's a bit of a reggae tinge. The bright instrumental section is highly sophisticated, with an awful lot going on.

Epignosis | 4/5 |

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