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Sanguine Hum - Now We Have Power CD (album) cover

NOW WE HAVE POWER

Sanguine Hum

Neo-Prog


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kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover Team
4 stars Sanguine Hum began as a musical collaboration in the early 2000's between school friends Joff Winks (vocals, guitar) and Matt Baber (piano, keyboards, guitar), who were both inspired by artists such as the Flaming Lips, Tortoise, Aphex Twin and Frank Zappa. Operating under three different monikers ? Joff Winks Band, Antique Seeking Nuns and Nunbient ? during which time Brad Waissman (bass, Chapman stick, double bass) and drummer Paul Mallyon joined the party - the band eventually settled on the name Sanguine Hum with the release of their first album, 'Diving Bell', in 2009. Paul left after that album, being replaced by Andrew Booker, but has returned as a guest in time for the sequel to 2015's acclaimed concept album 'Now We Have Light'. The story of Don continues through a surreal lyrical and musical landscape, as the band continue in their efforts to really sound like no-one else in the prog scene yet also being instantly accessible and interesting.

Steven Wilson has obviously been a major influence on the band, but less with his solo albums but more with Porcupine Tree and (especially) no-man, while there are times when Tangerine Dream come into play, as well as Big Big Train. Interestingly, they are classified by ProgArchives as a neo-prog outfit, but if I was going to shoehorn them into a sub-genre then I would move more towards Crossover as there are strong pop elements in their music. It is such an easy album to listen to, while never falling into the trap of being easy listening, and there is a great deal going on from all involved, even though it may come across as simplistic at times. A trumpet is brought in on a couple of numbers, to add additional depth, and overall this is a sheer delight from beginning to end. There is a high use of piano underpinning the sound, while guitar is rocked sparingly and the ear is drawn towards the vocals at all times. An album of real songs, this is both fresh and refreshing, something to relax with at the end of the day.

Report this review (#2083085)
Posted Wednesday, December 5, 2018 | Review Permalink
Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
PSIKE Team & Band Submissions
4 stars Probably I must warn you. Albums provided by SANGUINE HUM, and in the same way the forerunner outfit Antique Seeking Nuns, mostly left an enthusiastic impression on me. This one is the sequel to their acclaimed double CD 'Now We Have Light', that was released back in 2015. Undoubtedly they have managed to consolidate their own unique sound over the years, which in general includes influences taken from the neo prog, art rock and canterbury genres. Joff Winks is a prolific guitarist and on top of it has got a very sensitive voice. Matt Baber on the other hand marks the driving force on all sorts of keyboard/synth stuff you may imagine. Brad Waissman then impresses on bass and chapman stick as usual, where finally Paul Mallyon is back again on the drums here surprisingly. Not listed as a regular crew member though.

The band now have signed with the Bad Elephant Music label, a good move it seems when longing for a more established recognition and reputation. Although their music often enough is charming, deriving from mellow meadows so to say, this is nothing for background listening duties. Switch away from any multitasking attitude, concentrate on this, and reserve time for more than one or two rounds. Both opening View parts are showing a melancholic vibe including really heart-wrenching polyphonic vocals. Melting ice! The fantastic A Tall Tale is standing for a heavier orientation, though overall the album is presented with less rocking attitude this time. Nevertheless they are able to keep up their quality standards 'till the last minute, careful use of a trumpet inclusively. Another winner in 2018.

Report this review (#2086833)
Posted Friday, December 14, 2018 | Review Permalink

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