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FLASH

Flash

 

Eclectic Prog

3.68 | 75 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

stefro
Prog Reviewer
4 stars After being unceremoniously booted out of Yes, guitarist Peter Banks licked his wounds and set to work forming a progressive rock band of his own. Having been an integral member of Yes during their formative years, when they produced albums such as 1968's eponymous debut and it's orchestrally-themed follow-up 'Time And A Word', Banks was therefore well- versed in the rhythmic complexities of prog-rock. His distinctive guitar style had helped form Yes' very own musical identity and still to this very day Banks is considered one of the genre's foremost axemen. Despite being dumped by the band he helped found and replaced by Steve Howe, he remained positive; Flash was the result. Featuring another Yes refugee in the shape of ex-Badger member and Hammond organist extraordinaire Tony Kaye, as well as bassist Ray Bennett, drummer Mike Hough and vocalist Colin Carter, Flash sparked into life with this vibrant, self-titled debut album in 1972, the same year that would unfortunately see Bank's former employers release one of progressive rock's greatest records - the sublime 'Close To The Edge'. One wonders what kind of legacy 'Flash' would have if, say, it had been released a year or so later, but the fact remains that 'Close To The Edge' completely overshadowed pretty much everything back in 1972, and for good reason. However, despite the spectre of his old outfit hanging over him, Banks did manage to produce the goods; 'Flash' is a colourful and skilfully-played album with searing guitars and Carter's semi-screeched lyrics combining to impressive effect, and the album's eclectic nature means that it is much more than just another Yes-clone(here's to you you Druid and England). Though the album features just five tracks, pretty much all of them rock. 'Children Of The Universe' is suitably epic, with Banks impressive playing to the fore, whilst the beautifully simple 'Morning Haze' eschews the prog in favour of the rock with spectacular results. Only the over-ripe 'Dreams Of The Universe', with it's 13-minute running time, fails to truly set the pulse racing, but it still contains enough instrumental verve to fill most 'rock' albums several times over, with Ray Bennett's throbbing bass-lines particularly noteworthy. When compared to the true big beasts of prog, 'Flash' does maybe seem slightly lightweight. It lacks the complex nature of Yes' best moments, and, at times, comes across as more of a rock album than a creation of prog, but that's the nature of the genre. 'Flash' probably belongs in that second tier of great prog albums, alongside the likes of Pink Floyd's 'The Wall' or Gentle Giant's 'Free Hand', which is certainly no bad thing. It may not be brilliant, but Banks and co came pretty close. Recommended.

stefro | 4/5 |

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