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Harvest - Underground Community CD (album) cover

UNDERGROUND COMMUNITY

Harvest

 

Neo-Prog

3.62 | 38 ratings

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octopus-4
Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars It happened that I downloaded this album after finding the link in the "Official Review Our Music" forum. It happened that I put it on my Mp3 reader and it happened that I totally forgot it. Then it happened that after "Harmonium", my reader started playing "Harvest" and I started wondering who they were, trying to identify them without looking on the display, also because that display is very badly lighted, very small and I had no glasses....

My first impression of the album, listened just once when I downloaded it was of good neo- prog but what remained in my mind after that listen was just a Marillion cover, and that cover was what helped me to remember the band, but it means that I have listened to the 9 previious songs with enough concentration and I have discovered an excellent band with very good songs well played and with an excellent singer.

In the end the Marillion cover (Waiting to Happen) is just a cover and the voice of Monique van der Kolk sounds too sweet respect to the powerful high pitches of Steve Hogarth, but that voice sounds excellent in the rest of the album.

Monique's voice is remarkable. It's probably the word "Autumn" in the opener that seems inspired to Prevert's poetry, but she makes me think to Heather Findlay but also to Megan Wheatley of Dan Britton's project "All Over Everywhere". Voice apart, the song is good. I have left the neo-prog subgenre since some years but I can still recognize the good neo-prog when I hear it. This is very good.

"Beyond The Desert" is colored of Magenta while the "cold electronics" of "No Return" make me think to an artist that I suggested and was rejected from PA a couple of years ago, Kate Havnevik.

"The Story Of Tim Ballas" is opened by a 12 strings guitar very similar to Bowie's Space Oddity. It's just for few seconds then they are back to their genre with a song still in Marillion's chords even if I hear a connection to Mostly Autumn also on this song.

"Mara" is different. It's a song on which one can guess that this band is Spanish (or better, Catalan). There's also more rock respect to the previous tracks. Surely is one of the less commercial.

After a short instrumental, that's the title track, that would have deserved to be exploited better, a piano introduces a mellow song that's too mellow for my tastes. Nice as background during a travel by car but nothing more.

"Post Disaster" opens with keyboard and drum machine for about one minute of progressive electronic, then when Monique starts singing she trasnforms it into an excellent song made of many different elements. Maybe Magenta is the best reference for this song

"The Horizon" sounds as a Marillion song of the Hogarth era but the chorus gives me an idea of Mostly Autumn again. It's one of the best album's songs. However it introduces quite well the cover mentioned before. "Waiting to Happen" is an excellent song and I have to admint that I prefer the original version even if this is everything but bad.

"She Tries" is another good song. We have bass and keyboards reminding to Marillion while guitar and vocals are closer to Mostly Autumn.

A short acoustic song follows: "Night Comes Down" must be mentioned mainly because of it's position in the album: I think it comes exactly in the best moment. A few of chill-out before the closure that's darker. "Interrupted Broadcast" is the heaviest track. After a piano that is able to give an idea of what will follow we have drums and distorted guitar, then piano and vocals again. Here I think to Porcupine Tree.

This is a very promising debut album. They still sound too much like their bigger influencer but have good original ideas, too. Some songs may appear too commercial but again, when the music is good being commercial or not does mean nothing to me. The impression is that the band hasn't still found its original sound, but when they will they'll have the potentiality to become big. Also this album is already better than some Marillion albums.

3.5 stars that I want to round up to 4. They have been a pleasant surprise in my mp3 playlist and I hope they will be a more pleasant surprise with their following releases.

octopus-4 | 4/5 |

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