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The Vorticists - Show CD (album) cover

SHOW

The Vorticists

 

Crossover Prog

3.96 | 4 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Windhawk
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars US band THE VORTICISTS became a firm entity in 2009 according to their bio, and are based out of a corner in the state of Indianapolis called Bloomington. With a stated desire to reach outwards from there. In between playing live this five man strong unit also found their way into a studio in 2011, resulting in their debut album "Show". An album that, true to the spirit of many other recent bands, have been released on the Bandcamp website.

And if Lady Luck aids these guys and they work hard at it, they should manage to build up a fanbase large enough for the world to take notice of them too. Because this first production of their is a production with many fine qualities to it, and is an album that should have a wide appeal. If only people would take the time to give it a spin that is. Which appears to be the main challenge for an increasing number of artists these days, as the sheer variety and quantity of music out there is almost staggering.

Musically The Vorticists is best described as a psychedelic rock band I guess. Their compositions tends to be gentle of nature and expression, with careful piano and guitar motifs as the dominant instrument details. With effective use of vintage sounding synthesizers as the main additional flavour. But most of all this is a vocals dominated production. Verse and chorus sequences are the stars of the show, so to speak, and while the instrumental sections are employed both cleverly and given ample space too on occasion, this is an album that hone in on the lead vocals and vocal passages as the vital parts of the proceedings.

And they do so in a manner that gives me associations to Radiohead first and foremost. The the gentler parts of Paranoid Android frequently comes to mind, paired off with a mood not too far away from The Beatles when they were at their most mellow. Flavouring the proceedings throughout are occasional lapses into slightly harder edged passages reminding more of 70's art rock band Ambrosia and the occasional nod in the direction of Pink Floyd when the arrangements briefly develop into layered, somewhat grandiose constructions. But most of all this is a dampened, careful album. Fragile and melancholic, with few or no traces of aggression. But what we are served frequently throughout are resonating, echoing and otherwise psychedelic instrument details. Never extreme or even close to becoming so, but applied with care and an emphasis on subtle eerie moods rather than freakout ones. Nothing that will scare away any mainstream oriented listeners, unless they find late 60's Beatles to be intimidating of course.

Structurally this band does add a few bells and whistles however, and while not in as dramatic a manner as them, avid listeners will probably get the odd association to bands like The Mars Volta and Gentle Giant along the way here. But the quirky features are explored in the same careful manner as the rest of this production. Careful, gentle and dampened are keywords to describe this disc. But that doesn't mean that this is a band that sticks to material of a slow and ballad oriented nature. Faster paced and compact sequences is just as much a part of this act's repertoire as the dreamladen ballad oriented passages, and many of the compositions include them both.

I'd suspect that a likely audience for this production would be people who enjoy the likes of late 90's Radiohead and late 60's The Beatles more than anything. While not that similar to either, The Vorticists is a band that in sound and style combine elements from both, with a careful psychedelic flavouring applied and a certain focus on arrangements of a dampened nature and melancholic mood.

Windhawk | 4/5 |

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