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Primitive Instinct - One Man's refuge CD (album) cover

ONE MAN'S REFUGE

Primitive Instinct

Neo-Prog


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kev rowland
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Crossover Team
4 stars When I wrote a Jadis review recently, I said that I had to check the calendar to confirm that I was in 2012 and not in 1992, so when I heard that Primitive Instinct were releasing a new album as well I did a serious doubletake. PI were one of the very first bands signed to Cyclops Records when Malcolm started the label ('Floating Tangibility' being the third on the label) yet by the time that the album was released in 1994 the band had already been around for seven years. They were fairly active on the London circuit but for some reason I never actually caught one of their gigs, although I regularly bumped into guitarist/vocalist Nick Sheridan as he was often attending the same concerts as me. I had put them into the bucket of 'bands I should I have seen but are now long gone', yet here we have a new album (release date November 3rd) and a 25th anniversary gig to launch the album!

So after all this time, what would the album be like? In many ways this is mature yet also with a navet that makes it truly appealing. There are elements of It Bites, some of Hogarth-era Marillion, some BJH, some Howard Jones, but essentially lots of PI. The songs are built around Nick's vocals, with a very loose structure so that there is loads of space and room for the music to live and breathe. There are many more pop sensibilities than many other prog acts, and these guys could easily work with a well-known Prog band but could also cut into musical areas dominated by bands as diverse as Mumford & Sons or Coldplay.

It is an album that makes me smile while I listen to it for no particular reason (any reference to too much alcohol will obviously be ignored). The band have grown older (well we all have), yet to my abused ears we could be back in the early Nineties when British prog was truly underground and everyone in the scene felt that were involved in something special together. It's been 12 years since the last album, let's hope we don't have to wait so long for the next one. For more information on the band and to order the CD visit www.primitive-instinct.com

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Send comments to kev rowland (BETA) | Report this review (#846879)
Posted Tuesday, October 30, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars My 'coup de coeur' of 2012 !

I won't sell it to you as the best prog album of the year. In fact, I won't even sell it to you as a prog album. And I doubt that it will appear in any prog poll of 2012. So if you are searching for something complex and demanding, you won't find much to like here. And still, it is well worth the listen.

kev rowland's review tells the story pretty well about the numerous influences that don't prevent the album for showing the band's own personality.

That results in 10 beautifully crafted songs. No show-off, no pyrotechnics, no weird changes of rhythm, not even the so trendy heavy riffing but lots of melodies and emotion instead. Most of the songs have a slow or mid-tempo but each has its own dynamic, tells a real story and we are far from ambient nor boring material. The music is mostly guitar driven with some subtle keyboards parts. Nick's voice is quite captivating to my ears. It really fits the music, adding a palpable depth to the songs. Lyrics are rather simple but touching enough.

My favorite tracks so far would be 'Falling Down' and 'Solitary Man' but none of the others has been a letdown.

Thanks to progstreaming.com for letting me discover this wonderful album.

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Send comments to Bupie (BETA) | Report this review (#890618)
Posted Thursday, January 10, 2013 | Review Permalink
tszirmay
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Crossover Team
4 stars This is my first foray into Primitive Instinct, as I kept skirting the previous releases and keeping them at arm's length until the moment would arise for me to take a closer look. Progstreaming did just that by showcasing this new release and I got hooked! The beauty of a progressive mind is that one can enjoy the dense, complicated stuff with the same fortitude as the more accessible material. Primitive Instinct lies firmly in the second category, a poppier universe of clever songwriting, memorable melodies, passionate vocals and clever though not necessarily intricate musicianship. Leader Nick Sheridan is the owner of a lovely voice, typically 80's croon, closer to John Lees (BJH), Geoff Barradale (Vitamin Z), Andy McCluskey (OMD) or Howard Jones. Modern comparisons suggest a Colin Mold or even Coldplay. The material is stretched a bit further than the usual poppy fare, giving the musicians some leeway in building momentous passages, albeit firmly in the lighter areas of musical expression. Hey, a little pop can go easily with the snap and the crackle! The classic "Alter Ego", the forthright "Falling Down", the pastoral "End of the Day" and the rumbling "No Way" all fit perfectly into that category but subtle tracks like the sublime "Breathing", the gasping "Solitary Man" with its glorious vocal full of forlorn melancholia, the tremendous title track has a clear Peter Gabriel hint ("In Your Eyes") that only adds to the enjoyment, armed with redolent e-piano and a shining vocal performance, very smooth and chill. There are also some original takes like the rollicking "Cuban Lullaby" with a very 80s feel, raspy guitar leading the way and a huge vocal once again. With "Still Finding My Way", the ballad fans are sumptuously catered to a huge love song that has hints of 'dj entendu' somewhere before, so universal is its simple pleading charm. The chorus is utterly familiar and sexy, hum along and exalt in the glory.The album ends with the longest tune, the 8 minute+ "Regrets", where the tone gets somewhat darker, bass rolling nicely, tick-tack drums and a solid groove to boot, Sheridan expressing himself regally on the mike, a stunning finale that deserves rapt applause.

While vocals are not exactly prog's forte, it's nevertheless nice to have an accessible album, full of superb voice renditions of quirky songs that would undoubtedly please the females in our life. One cannot feed on Anekdoten, Anglagard, Magma and OSI without an occasional release! This will do it fine. A fun little disc.

4 Hidden Lairs Thanks Kev!

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Send comments to tszirmay (BETA) | Report this review (#902291)
Posted Tuesday, January 29, 2013 | Review Permalink

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