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3 stars An excellent new track from Phideaux in the veins of their latest two albums. Strong melodies, upbeat music and great vocals - many of the ingredients that make Phideaux music so appealing.

The song opens with a short lullaby-like intro before an energetic bass synth starts the riff that persists through much of the song. Acoustic guitars and keys also make appearances throughout. As usual, the vocal performance is one of the highlights, although in this case, it is just Phideaux Xavier singing - the female vocals that have been growing more prominent for the past few albums are missing. And the song wraps up nicely, ending with a reprise of the lullaby theme from the beginning.

Without the female members of the band, the song also lacks the presence of strings, giving it a bit more of a rocking feel than some of the more orchestral stuff the band has released of late. I can't complain about this for the energy of the song stays strong throughout. Ultimately, a good track, and available for free streaming on the bands bandcamp website.

Report this review (#294657)
Posted Sunday, August 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Strange Cloud' - Phideaux (Single)

Here's another intelligent track from art rock act Phideaux. Starting out much like a lullaby, things pick up the pace with some electric lead work and medieval acoustic backing. Much like the other single the band has released in 2010 ('Tempest Of Mutiny') the mysteriously titled 'Strange Cloud,' is very much a conventionally structured song, extended over the course of seven minutes.

A modern-structured composition with a coating of classic prog nostalgia, the song sounds like Jethro Tull in some parts, and brit-pop rockers Oasis in others. Although it sounds like the same song throughout it's length, there is still a wide variety of different timbres and instruments that make their appearance during the course of the track.

While 'Tempest Of Mutiny' made itself memorable through the strength of it's chorus, 'Strange Cloud' is a much more enjoyable track throughout, although it doesn't retain the same catchiness the first 2010 single has. In any case, this track has spurred interest in Phideaux for me, and I will make a point of checking out more music from this talented art rock band in the future.

Report this review (#297855)
Posted Tuesday, September 7, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars In eager anticipation of the release of Snowtorch, I've decided to whet my appetite for more Phideaux. So, I've picked the remains from the now defunct 7 ' project. The most recent of which is Strange Cloud. It is comprised of a single track clocking in at seven and a half minutes. I suspect the choice of length might have been purposeful.

Musically it feels like it draws a bit from the band's earlier work as well as from its full length predecessor. Like the contents Great Leap and Ghost Story it has an overall harder and more rock oriented feel. However the music is richer and more layered likely owing to its close association with Number 7. Strange Cloud certainly features a larger group of musicians with a more diverse selection of instruments at their command than at least Ghost Story certainly did.

Overall, I like Strange Cloud. It's good but not great. If you like Phideaux then I think it is in your best interest to go out and pick it up. It might also make a fairly apt introduction to the style of the band, but I would highly suggest starting with an earlier full length album like Ghost Story or Chupacabras instead. So 3 out of 5 stars.

Report this review (#408720)
Posted Saturday, February 26, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Another wonderful effort by Phideaux. Ever since Doomsday Afternoon, it really seems as if he can do no wrong. This is a solid rocking effort of a song with a little difference from other work of his. The women who contribute so much to the sound of all Phideaux efforts are missing here, but that just makes for a nice change and nothing is lost. This could have fit nicely into either Doomsday or Number 7. If it was longer, this would get a 5 star rating from me but a 4 is still good! A very appealing song that is worth tracking down and downloading. Can't wait to here Snowtorch in it's entirety!
Report this review (#423962)
Posted Monday, March 28, 2011 | Review Permalink
Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars "Strange Cloud" has a gritty main guitar riff and is reminiscent of Jethro Tull in something like "A Passion Play." The outstanding aspects of this piece are the electric guitar and the various keyboards, particularly the spacey interjections. The vocals are especially nasally, but that is of no consequence. Like "Tempest of Mutiny," this is an excellent single that contains an abundance of attractive occurrences. The dormouse will blow the listener away with his (snow)torch; that is to say, Phideaux has produced another fine and appealing piece of music with numerous musical ideas that are put together in a coherent and fun manner.
Report this review (#770776)
Posted Thursday, June 14, 2012 | Review Permalink

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