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We Are Kin - Bruised Sky CD (album) cover


We Are Kin

Crossover Prog

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Eclectic Team
3 stars We Are Kin is a crossover prog band from Manchester, England, founded around 2013. It was founded by Gary Boast and Dan Zambras, who were backing members of a pop band. They shared a love of progressive music and eventually formed this band. Their third album, 'Bruised Sky' was released in July of 2019. This album consists of 7 tracks which span a total time of 47 minutes. Zambras plays piano and synths while Gary provides the drums. As far as other current members, Emma Brewin- Caddy is the vocalist and Lee Braddock plays bass.

The album starts off with a smoothly flowing 'Circles', an 8 minute track that establishes a laid-back, yet non-traditional sound. Emma's vocals are smooth and fit the music quite well. While the music is fairly accessible, it still has a nice level of ingenuity and originality. The music settles in to a level feel for the most part, but there are some unexpected sections as it continues, but it still stays with a soft feel throughout. 'The Fawn' continues with that soft vibe, but shows a bit more of a build as it continues and more emotion comes through. In both of these tracks, there is a degree of hesitation as it moves from different sections.

'Leave Me Be' has some nice piano and synth work, and the melody shows a bit more inventiveness, but the vocals at times seem a bit unsure or just a little off. The 2nd half of the track has a nice build with the drums becoming quite active in increasing intensity and emotion. There is just a bit of an uneasy feeling in there though like it's just not gelling as well as it should be. 'Bruised Sky' is a bit more straightforward, and at this time the music is in need of a bit more life. That dragging feeling continues in 'I Won't Go Back', and is starting to feel a bit amateurish. When the tempo kicks up a bit, it isn't quite enough to help the fact that things are a bit repetitive in the last half of the track.

'Nothing More' brings a bit more life into the album with a bit more gusto in the beat and vocals. The overall sound pushes for a more progressive feel and the structure is less traditional sounding than the last couple of tracks. Even when things become softer in towards the middle, it still has an advantage of being somewhat exploratory and atmospheric until the end. The last track 'Paper Boat' is the longest track at over 10 minutes. It continues in the more exploratory and almost ambient direction of the last track. There are some definite experimental sections on this one as it continues on, with some strange and oddly placed effects, almost tending towards an avant-garde oddness as it goes on, some spoken word with processed male vocals come in half way through, and the song goes off in some strange directions at times, only to return to the laid back feel on the last section.

This album has it's share of both high and low points, and even with the mostly mellow, laid-back feel through most of it, it doesn't always flow as well as it could. There is a bit of an amateurish feel too the album also, but I don't consider it all bad. The band does show some promise, but they leave a lot of room for growth here too. I would say it is a good 3 star attempt as there is room to improve, but they were definitely on the right track many times throughout the album.

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Posted Tuesday, July 16, 2019 | Review Permalink

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