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Parallel Or 90 Degrees - Unbranded - Music From The E.E.C. Surplus CD (album) cover

UNBRANDED - MUSIC FROM THE E.E.C. SURPLUS

Parallel Or 90 Degrees

Psychedelic/Space Rock


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4 stars Andy Tillison doesn't have a powerful voice and doesn't veil his love of Peter Hamill but has a delivery that really makes you listen to his interesting satirical views on a superficial and materialistic world. The music uses the classic prog sound fused with something very contemporary (ie drum 'n' bass) and these are obviously very good musicians. The drums when in the rock vein sound a bit thin and alternate with some really intense dance rythms perhaps hinting that they are played by machines but i have seen these chaps live and they have live drums which do sound like this. They also play around with samples (eg. the explosion on Space Junk, stolen from 'The Final Cut' is particularyl effective) and trigger little bits of the vocals via sequencers (Migrane) creating something (in my opinion) very exciting. Imagine if Van Der Graaf had Keith Emerson on keyboards and joined forces with the Prodigy you would be somewhere near. Purists worry not, as if this description turns you off there is plenty of keyboard solos and tasty guitar. Enigmatic and dynamic stuff.
Report this review (#5517)
Posted Wednesday, June 2, 2004 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This short review is about the video "Unbranded Part 2 & 3" (Cyclops CYCL V001), it captures this interesting band at their peak (live 2000). The tracking list contains most of their best compositions and are played very well, especailly the organ (with strong echoes from Keith Emerson) sounds great and the vocals rather distinctive in a pleasant way . The live scenes include a very taseful lightshow and an inspired band, I hope this will be put on DVD by Cyclops!
Report this review (#37513)
Posted Saturday, June 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 4.5 stars. Man this is a powerful album and not just instrumentally but the lyrics as well. I saw this quote from Steven Wilson about this album : "A riff worthy of KING CRIMSON or VDGG over a drum and bass rhythm is certainly different. I'm intrigued". The dual keyboards are certainly the prominant sound on this record but the drumming and chunky bass really add a lot of depth here.

"God's Of Convenience" opens with piano that moves me emotionally for some reason. Faint samples come in and then the sound becomes powerful before 2 minutes. Here we go before 2 1/2 minutes and the vocals join in too. Check out the bass and guitar. Killer ! It settles back but these contrasts will continue throughout. Samples with a powerful atmosphere 7 1/2 minutes in. It eventually blends into "Migraine" a song that is naturally is dark and pounding with an eerie synth intro. There are some good riffs and synth runs throughout. This is so powerful and the sound quality is excellent. It starts to wind down after 6 1/2 minutes until it's spacey. Great track !

"Unbranded" is a song about how young people are slaves to name brands. Andy got some of the ideas for this from Roger Waters who he met by chance on an airplane and had this discussion. Andy thanks Roger in the liner notes for "The Shoe Factory in Taiwan". Check out the sound before a minute with the atmospheric guitar and laid back vocals.So good ! A cool instrumental section comes in after 3 minutes with synths and drums leading. It's powerful again 5 1/2 minutes in and then it settles with lots of atmosphere. Amazing stuff. "Shoulder To Shoulder" is about working together to stop the destruction of our planet. Martin Orford is featured with some nice flute passages.Vocals are almost spoken early on. It turns heavy before 4 minutes then a calm arrives as it continues to change.There is this ripping, emotional guitar solo that is far too short after 6 minutes.

"Space Junk" contrasts the heavy drums and organ with the lighter spacey synths throughout. "An Autopsy In Artificial Light(Afterlifecycle Part 2)" is a 25 minute song that in the liner notes has a quote from Roine Stolt between the title and the lyrics that says "There's no such thing as blank and total darkness".This is a trip my friends. From spacey with samples to heavy and rocking to reflective piano to vocal sections this is a ride. It ends in a haunting manner.

Another winner from this band. I've read that the band feels this might be their best and it's hard to argue with that statement.

Report this review (#99578)
Posted Sunday, November 19, 2006 | Review Permalink

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