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Antique Seeking Nuns - Mild Profundities CD (album) cover


Antique Seeking Nuns

Canterbury Scene

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Mellotron Storm
4 stars These guys sure have a great sense of humour as witnessed by the ugly nun (haha) on the album cover. On the Wayside Music site the writer of the review there mentions that former World Champion snooker player Steve Davis introduced this band to him. If you don't know, Steve Davis is a huge Progressive Rock fan and lists VDGG and MAGMA among his favourites. Back to ANTIQUE SEEKING NUNS, these guys have put out three EPs that all have a Canterbury flavour to them and certainly Frank Zappa comes to mind as well. I understand that the 3 EPS are all we're getting from this band, at least under this band name. In the liner notes it says : "Joff plays his vocals, his guitars, a borrowed bass & his late night TV recordings. Matt plays his drums, his keyboards, his lowery organ & his old next door neighbors." Haha.

"It's Pissing Don ?" features cymbals, drums and vibes early then it gets fuller before a minute. Beautiful soundscape here. Lots of relaxed keyboards. How good does this sound before 5 minutes. So moving. "Little Machines" opens with strummed guitar and keyboards as reserved vocals join in. Drums and bass follow. A nice display instrumentally when the vocals stop briefly later on. "M.O.D.A.R." is experimental and spacey to start. Pulsating noises come in as the spacey sounds wash in over top. It's very electronic 3 minutes in. "Keeny Woka Phoola" reminds me of Zappa early on. Vocals before 2 minutes. "Earth Song With One Sugar" features electronics and keyboards to start. It changes though as drums come in. It's spacier 5 minutes in. Someone is screaming in the background late (probably someone who just saw the nun on the album cover).

Modern Canterbury right here folks, come and get it while you can.

Report this review (#281932)
Posted Friday, May 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars The first Antique Seeking Nuns EP links up with the Canterbury scene.

It is a strange EP from a strange band. A band later morphed into Sanguine Hum and embracing the more commercial world of neo-prog in the process. Commercial is not this EP at all. It has it's base in the Canterbury scene. The more jazzy, but not so avant-garde part of Canterbury, that is. But this EP also have one foot in the post rock genre. The whole ethos seems post rock to me. But Frank Zappa too has made an impression on this band.

The opening instrumental track It's Pissing Don is excellent with it's mix of jazz, Canterbury and post rock. The following songs, some of them are vocals based, are also great, but not in the same class.

This twenty-six minutes long EP is a small jewel from England and one well worth purchasing. An email to the band should do the trick.

4 stars

Report this review (#436550)
Posted Thursday, April 21, 2011 | Review Permalink
Retired Admin
4 stars Modern Canterbury

This band caught me completely off guard! Expecting some kind of fruity musical obscenities akin to Frank Zappa with a hefty wagon full of retro prog, I then got something completely different.

Yes this is Canterbury, and while this particular brand of music has become something of a rare breed these days, it does my heart and ears good to know that people out there in the wide world still are experimenting with things like this old English fusion twist.

Sure, like others here have mentioned - most notably John(thanks buddy for letting me know about this fantastic band!), there are heaps of black unbridled humour going on - I mean just take a look at the manly nun presented on the art work... Then you have the lyrics that successfully continue this rather peculiar image right down to the t, but to these ears at least, that is not really what this band is all about. Peel away the meaning of the words, and you get intelligent songwriting with beautifully sung vocals - writhing over and under each other in blissful harmonies. Twinkling guitars, understated but effectively right there leading these tunes into well orchestrated choruses and instrumental sections, that for some inexplicable reason make me think of Caravan, although Antique Seeking Nuns sound altogether differently. I guess it has something to do with the sparingly usage of synths and soloing organs - that very distinctively highlights the individual peaks hiding within the tunes here - making them glisten and shine like a pair of wax jeans. Caravan did this as well, and I for one just love music that lifts the heritage of something that perhaps is even more rare within the modern prog rock scene than the odd Canterbury act - subtlety, and making it work. One of the key ingredients for me here are those electronics and the way they infuse larval creeping textures into the music. On the surface of things, they might seem out of place, but when you've heard more than 10 seconds of it, you suddenly realise just how important they are to the overall picture here. Yummy yum yum!

Imagine a quirkier more uplifting fusion take on Porcupine Tree - and then add a natural flow to the proceedings that reek of mature songwriting and subtle instrumentations, and you effectively get this band. I can't imagine ever giving an EP masterpiece status, but I will say that this is just about the closest I have ever come. By far one of the most enthralling musical surprises I have encountered in a long time, and I strongly urge anyone with an affinity for Canterbury to hunt this one down. It truly offers a parallel reality of what this style can be - and furthermore does it eloquently and addictively. Currently I have been humming, singing, whistling the melodies off of this release like a confused wasp in love. It genuinely is that good. I want a full album of it please!!!!!

Report this review (#781153)
Posted Monday, July 2, 2012 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This British group from South Oxfordshire begun life in 2001 by school friends Matt Baber (keyboards) and Joff Winks (vocals,guitar).At the same time they established the Troopers for Sound label in order to promote their albums on their own forces.The line-up was completed with bassist Brad Waissman and drummer Paul Mallyon and in January 2003 the first EP of the group sees the light under the title ''Mild Profundities''.

Five tracks and 25 minutes of dreamy, contemporary Progressive Rock with an obvious Canterbury influence was the proposal of Antique seeking Nuns in their debut, definitely a very attractive and special blend of two different worlds.The overall approach is atmospheric, esoteric and highly ethereal with strong Post Rock and Art Rock vibes in the vein of TORTOISE and RADIOHEAD, but what really makes the difference is Baber's unique keyboard offerings, as the notes seem lost somewhere in an old Canterbury Prog album.The guitars are distorted and sharp, the rhythm section is hypnotic and the band uses a lot of electronic effects, on the other hand the keyboards have a strong 70's approach.Beautiful instrumental themes with nervous synths, vibraphone and piano add to the album a beautiful vintage feeling.Finally the vocals are also quite sensitive, clear and warm to complete a nice first effort by Antique seeking Nuns.

Not your ordinary Post and Art Rock affair.If you can imagine a combination of contemporary, atmospheric Progressive Rock full of Canterbury-like keyboard textures and this seems cool in the paper for you, ''Mild Profundities'' is definitely an album to go after.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Report this review (#866911)
Posted Monday, November 26, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars Well, this is not an album but only an EP, so we can't expect to get the same satisfaction that an actual album can bring, it ends very soon, when we are just starting to get interested (or at least that happened to me).

The music is great, this four musicians had made an amazing work; the songs are short (for a Prog Rock band) but are also very well played and interesting (they don't become boring).

Canterbury Scene gave us its most amazing bands in the seventies, but this young guys from this century have made something very unique. Maybe if they would have recorded a few more songs and they have made a whole album starting with the idea of this EP the results would have been even more interesting. They had a great potential.

I'll rate this EP with three stars.

Report this review (#2077190)
Posted Tuesday, November 20, 2018 | Review Permalink
Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars A very enticing and refreshing modern expression (tribute?) to the Canterbury Scene from these boys from Oxford. The album us full of supreme highs while also containing a few divots and duds.

1. "It's Pissing Don?" (6:26) part Post Rock, part Canterbury, part neo-classical jazz, this piano/keyboard and xylophone-led song features the very solid support of chunky bass, military-styled drums and guitars. (9/10)

2. "Little Machines" (4:50) my favorite song on the album has some very catchy melodic, structural and vocal moments. (10/10)

3. "M.O.D.A.R" (4:50) ambient techno-space house music for the first two minutes, pauses for a very spacey section before reacquiring the weave of techno sounds that it opened with. MIDIed solo from lower mid-register keyboard is mixed in with all the other. Is this the soundscape the Canterbury artists of old would be experimenting with if they were still doing their stuff in the 21st Century? Interesting if not great. (7/10)

4. "Keeny Woka Phoola" (3:08) sounds much more Canterbury-ish--even the squeeky synth taking on part of the lead melody making. At 1:35 it becomes much more poppy with the "beautiful people everywhere" vocal section--kind of like a 60s song from or from one of today's retro-psychedelic groups like Tame Impala or Arcade Fire. (9/10)

5. "Earthsong [With One Sugar]" (7:03) opens with a repetitive mid-to-high pitched electro-pulse over which electric piano plays a kind of étude with two series of chord progressions. Then, at 2:25, the song shifts into rock mode with full band and a very familiar Canterbury sound and structure--like something from the debut Hatfield and the North album. Catchy bass, drums, and keyboard lines form the foundation over which guitars and multiple synth sounds contribute. The song slips back into electronica experimentalism in the fifth minute while drums and other support instruments create their own melodies which eventually merge into a fairly cohesive weave. Recordings of a domestic argument are introduced over the final minute and a half. Interesting! (13.5/15)

Total Time: 26:17

4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of progressive rock music--this one in the psychedelic experimental spirit of the 1970s Canterbury artists.

Report this review (#2151818)
Posted Monday, March 4, 2019 | Review Permalink
2 stars So ambient.

It's Pissing Don opens with percussion and is joined shortly by chill keyboards and bass. This song is very much so about building an atmosphere. There are some stops that ultimately return to the same mellow soundscape albeit seen through the eyes of different instrument sets. The song ends with tinkling, maybe water, maybe pee?

Little Machines opens with acoustic guitar and soft vocals. At around 3:30 some synths play lead which is probably the highlight of the EP for me.

M.O.D.A.R strikes me as really annoying, it's pretty much just five minutes of synth pad plus extremely distorted snare (you'll hear it and know what sound I'm talking about).

Keeny Woka Phoola is a brief track with a bit of vocals towards the end that start glitching out.

Earth Song With One Sugar opens with a staccato synth providing rhythm while other instruments slowly develop the song. At around 2:30 a full set of instruments join hands. This subsides pretty soon and the electronic ambient returns. The last minute has an argument added on plus "munchkin voices". Actually really annoying to me because the track till this point has done nothing to earn anything odd like this.

Overall this is a somewhat unpleasant release in my opinion due to all the ambient spacey moments and some of the moments of Earth Song With Sugar/MODAR are straight up agitating enough to move this down to 2* territory. One should come expecting a really strong post rock/electronic influence.

Canterbury Sound Score 2/5

Report this review (#2592249)
Posted Saturday, September 4, 2021 | Review Permalink

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