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Pure Reason Revolution - Hammer And Anvil CD (album) cover

HAMMER AND ANVIL

Pure Reason Revolution

 

Crossover Prog

3.21 | 55 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 'Hammer & Anvil' - Pure Reason Revolution (6/10)

Admittedly, a great deal of the progressive rock scene today passes me as ironically being 'retrogressive' in nature. Filled to the breaking point with ivory tower rhetoric and '70s derivative organ tones, it's a sorry state that far too many bands feel the need to express their forward-thinking attitude by sounding like bands that experienced their popular peak a good forty years ago. Luckily however, there are groups that take a modern approach to the concept of 'progressive rock;' pushing the envelope forward by giving an artistic perspective on more current styles. One such act is Britain's Pure Reason Revolution, a band that gives a decidedly intelligent approach to the shallow waters of synthpop and murky depths of alternative rock. With their third album 'Hammer & Anvil,' PRR may not have fashioned a truly excellent album, but it remains a very interesting take on the style that seems to be dominating the airwaves as of late.

'Hammer & Anvil' opens up with 'Fight Fire With Fire,' a infectious track built around the catchiness of its female-sung chorus. While Pure Reason Revolution certainly does a better job with their more introspective and mellow work ? true to the title ? 'Fight Fire With Fire' gives a fiery introduction to the music here. However, it doesn't necessarily reflect what the music here is all about. For the most part, the songs here are very ethereal, melodic and poppy tunes, sounding closely with some of Porcupine Tree's more accessible material save for the synth-heavy presence in the music. While this band are certainly able melody-makers, the tracks do ultimately feel as if they flow into each other, suggesting that there may not be enough variety here to warrant such a traditionally based style of songwriting. Towards the end of the album however (starting with the trance mix 'Blitzkrieg') is a two part track that begins sounding like it wouldn't be out of place in a Euro dance club, and ending with plenty of psychedelic effect and a near post-rock sense of building tension.

Finally, the album ends with 'Armistice,' which while risking feeling like an afterthought after such a drawn out composition, ends up being the best and most well-constructed track on the album. Sounding very much like Death Cab For Cutie or Danish pop-proggers Mew, the song represents everything Pure Reason Revolution got 'right' with this album; strong melodies , good vocal presentation and harmony, and great atmospherics to drive the music along. While I'm not completely convinced (as a result of the album's lack of consistency) by the work on 'Hammer & Anvil,' I would certainly recommend that anyone looking for a fresh sound in progressive rock music should look up the stylings of Pure Reason Revolution.

Conor Fynes | 3/5 |

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