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Nurkostam - -C- CD (album) cover





2.55 | 15 ratings

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3 stars The second of three pieces of work from the Finnish trio, rather misleadingly classified as neo-prog on the site, this one shows a distinct improvement in terms of sound quality over the debut EP. In addition, there is a sense of the band now finding their feet somewhat in terms of style and striving for better consistency. By and large they succeed.

The EP opens with The Pearl Song, which, at its commencement, is a gorgeous mellow track, with very well sung lyrics, set off by a jazzy, almost sampled, bass & drum. It is a pity that this very nice track is somewhat spoiled by a completely unnecessary messy keyboard solo halfway through which is absolutely out of keeping with the rest of the track.

Gone is far better throughout. A distinctly spacey feel with some rather angry lyrics make for a good listen.

Prison 4 has a rather late 1960's feel to it. In fact, some of it very much reminds me of some of the stuff that bands such as The Bee Gees were putting out at the time. This is probably utterly unintentional, but I mean this not as a criticism, far from it.

Myplanet brings us right back to the present day, and is, like much of the first EP, clearly influenced by bands such as Radiohead and is full of Floydian sound effects backing another repetitive drum bass and a very nice, simple, guitar lead.

The highlight of the whole work, for me, is Crawlin' Nation, a track where the band fully realise the promise shown on the debut work. Wholly original, with some lovely vocals accompanied by a very upbeat backdrop, and three minutes in, you get the burst of energy that proves that this band can really play as a cohesive unit to deliver a very strong piece of music.

There are two very short fillers less than a minute long. Intentionally Left Blank is a very good piano piece which really should have been longer, whilst Shrine is even shorter and, again, should have been a lot longer. A great sci fi influenced keyboard and effects piece with a tremendous cymbal finale, why on earth was this only half a minute long? Very Floydian, and criminally short.

Another highlight is Slo Lee, which features some delicious vocals and harmonies before descending into an altogether darker mood halfway through with menacing bass & drum accompanied by swirling keyboards. The vocal led track reasserts itself at the end, and this is a very good piece of music which, again, promises a great deal for the future.

The longest track, Darkmoor, at six minutes in length closes proceedings. There is all sorts in here, and another example of why this band really should be properly described as eclectic. From post indie to symphonic, with very strong Floydian influences in the pounding monotone bass leading a lush piano before becoming almost akin to some of Banks' work in mid 1970's Genesis, this, once again, promises a great deal for the future, and is never less than interesting.

I like this EP, and I am grateful to the band for making it available to me to review. I am going to award it three stars, but, in reality, it is more like 3.5 if we had such a rating system here. This is a very good EP which only just falls short of excellent, but is clearly the sound of a band finding their feet and growing in confidence both in terms of songwriting, performance, and, most definitely, production values. Recommended.

lazland | 3/5 |


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