Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Arabs In Aspic - Strange Frame Of Mind CD (album) cover


Arabs In Aspic


Heavy Prog

3.74 | 110 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I have a theory about this album that within 5-10 seconds of pressing play on the CD, or in my case putting the needle down on it, you'll be blown away and amazed with what you hear from `Strange Frame Of Mind'! From the very first second, the listener is blasted with a blissful wall of tasteful Mellotron, organ and trippy guitar, and that remains true for much of the rest of the album. Here we have a short but sweet album that is almost all killer, no filler, quite accessible Hammond driven vintage hard prog rock, with a whole lot of catchy and memorable vocal hooks and melodies. There's a great balance of up-tempo rockers and slower psychedelic pieces, all perfectly composed without being too complicated or busy.

The band's previous albums had more of a stoner/Black Sabbath space rock sound, but this album is more relatable to 70's bands like Atomic Rooster, `Remember The Future' era Nektar, heavy organ rockers Deep Purple/Uriah Heap and perhaps Pink Floyd. Anyone who enjoys albums by those artists would potentially find much to enjoy here.

One thing that occurs to you when listening to the album is that it actually sounds relaxed and FUN! The vocals are quite light-hearted without sounding comical or stupid, and there's a bunch of catchy choruses throughout the album. It's great to put on and chill out to. Despite the album being something of a retro 70's throwback, I believe the sense of humour and energy helps the band find their own identity.

I won't go into detail for each track, just mention a few highlights on an LP full of them. The greatest moment of the album is track 6, `Fal Til Marken', which has one of the most uplifting and grand Mellotron fuelled finales I've ever heard. It just keeps going and going, and you never want it to end. While most of `TV's beginning and end is a dirty Deep Purple inspired Hammond organ cruncher, the sedate middle section sounds like Floyd's `Welcome To The Machine', before it launches into space with a hugely uplifting and epic guitar solo. It's not quite long enough, but still beautifully played. The title track has gorgeous weeping Mellotron all throughout, and a very manic middle section! There's also an amusing cover of the Focus track `Hocus Pocus' to end the album, but it's really more of a bonus track.

The great production means all the instruments sound thick and upfront, especially the keyboards, but everything is perfectly balanced to provide a hugely atmospheric album. Most of the tracks are all joined together, so there's a great sense of flow to the LP, and it's all over in a brisk 44 minutes.

Special mention must also go to the striking erotic painting on the front cover. Certainly gets your attention right away, and looks even better on the gatefold vinyl version, so try to track down a copy of that one!

After taking into account everything I love about this album - the playing, the arrangements, the instruments, the production, even the front cover - and after listening to it for over a year now and still finding I love it even more with each additional listen, I feel I have to award it my first 5 star rating. `Strange Frame Of Mind' has been one of my favourite LP's of the last few years. Can't wait to see what the band comes up with next!

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 5/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this ARABS IN ASPIC review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.