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Spiraling - Challenging Stage CD (album) cover



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3 stars It is hard to give more than a two or three star rating to this because there are only 4 songs. Given the fact that the CD sells for $5 on their website and all songs are new moves it up to a solid three. Now for the music. Spiraling tried a different tactic on this their second studio release. Instead of overdubbing and using studio tricks this CD was recorded live in the studio. It has a raw element to it that Transmitter does not have.

"A Face for Radio" starts this CD off in a big way. This sound is like the Cars on steriods. One heavy riff through the song but underlying is some subtle keyboard work by Tom Brislin. Short and to the point with some entertaining lyrics. The second song Ah, Sugar is a very pop radio friendly song that is a satire on the vices of our society. Lyrics such as "I got a secret to it all and its called alcohol, one drink and I'm as brave as if I were ten feet tall, I know it makes me funny 'cause they all laugh when I fall. I'm a joke without my alcohol" The harmonies both vocal and instrumental take on almost a Beach Boys quality while again Brislin makes it more than it is with some very nice keyboard embellishments that are almost orchestral. "Texas is the Reason" starts out with some nice bass and drum work. A really fast walking bass line with energetic drums and a great Hammond bottom and inspired vocal make this song good to listen too. Some great instrumental action in the break gives Spiraling a definitive sound. They use the whole of their parts to achieve a strong sound. The last song "You Can't Get There" is the best song of the CD. The band uses a variety of sounds under the vocals to archive some very proggy parts to the music. This subtlety is the strength of Spiraling. Listen to the mellotron, guitar and piano in the instrumental section for the best example of this. Paul Wells drumming is outstanding here also.

A long review for a three star EP but I think this one is worth listening too. I just wish there was more to it.

Report this review (#42378)
Posted Wednesday, August 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is a very nice ep of semi-prog and alternative sounding music from Tom Brislin's band. Many will know Tom from his work with Camel, Kansas and Yes but he had his own band before he played with those bands.

The vocal style and use of piano reminds me a bit of Ben Folds at times but this is more interesting than most alternative stuff I've heard. I would say it's a cross between alternative and prog mainly because of the keyboards. There is a lot going on here but it's mostly in the background. There's also some humor in the tracks which you can tell by the song title of "a face for radio" and also in the track "sugar" which might be the only song I can think of about the downside to eating too much sugar. The final track on this ep "you can't get there" is definitely the proggiest track on the album, with lots of great instrumental play towards the end, and the main reason I am giving this four stars. All the songs are good though although they might be a bit contemporary and alternative sounding for many prog fans. One of the best eps I own for sure.

Report this review (#2840841)
Posted Sunday, September 18, 2022 | Review Permalink

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