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Vulgar Unicorn - The Fine Art Of Living CD (album) cover


Vulgar Unicorn

Eclectic Prog

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4 stars This actually not a Vulgar Unicorn album. The Band name is Persona Non Grata but it is the same two guys: Neil Randall on guitars and vocals with Bruce Soord on keyboards and bass.

The albus starts of with sharp guitar and sounds something like Mars Volta or other modern prog bands that have energy but no melodies. Luckily the music soon changes to more tranquil and then starts to progres into interesting structures.

Lament For Mayer is a sentimental song that starts with piano and continues as jazzy ballad or lullaby with a bit punkish singing and growing textures towards the end.

Parfait Amour starts as space atmospheres and builds with guitars and syncopic rhythms into a U2 type background. The song then starts and brings the space sounds back.

This is all the time interesting music!

The sound quality is odd. Basically OK but then there are distortions that I cannot say if they are there with a purpose or just because of bad recording equipement. Sometimes the strong use of channels (left/right) annoys, especially if you use headphones.

I'd say that this is progish atmospheric space music with energy and attitude. At least four stars.

Report this review (#75651)
Posted Thursday, April 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars Bruce Soord who also plays with PINEAPPLE THIEF re-unites with his former mate Neil Randall from their VULGAR UNICORN days to present not only a new album, but also a second disc comprised of VULGAR UNICORN material that was either lost or are original demos .

The new material on the first disc reminds me a little of DREDG, it's alternative sounding with more of an emphasis on the guitar. The first three songs are very good, lots of guitar and some of it is quite heavy. "Lament For Mayer" is mellow, piano laden with vocals similar to Billy from SMASHING PUMPKINS. "Gliders V1.1(Water Machine)" really reminds me of CAKE, the speaking instead of singing vocals. Good song. Another favourite is "Beachlife" which opens with some good drumming and features more great guitar from Bruce.

The second disc has an eighties feel to it, but it's quite good. "Stile Over The World" features some nice horns, reminding me of the PSYCHEDELIC FURS. "The House At Fudge Corner" is a highlight on this disc, the horns, guitar, and it gets pretty heavy. The fifth song really reminds me of SLOAN, another good one.

This is a fun release that I do recommend to both VULGAR UNICORN and PINEAPPLE THIEF fans, but also to those into Alternative Rock.

Report this review (#93943)
Posted Tuesday, October 10, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I think this is the best of the offerings from Messrs. Soord and Randall. There are catchy up-tempo tracks with great changes of pace, and fine writing for keyboards and guitar. Even the shortest track is worth noting, a beautiful,gentle piano piece that Enaudi could be proud of! There are even, for once, some quite interesting lyrics. Great stuff. I hope it's not the last we hear from them.
Report this review (#169190)
Posted Wednesday, April 30, 2008 | Review Permalink

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