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A Lonely Crowd

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A Lonely Crowd Transients album cover
3.96 | 9 ratings | 4 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2014

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Intro (1:01)
2. Godamnesia (3:34)
3. Inspector (2:35)
4. Blur (2:57)
5. Kamikaze Karma (3:23)
6. The Fall (3:03)
7. Rapture (4:18)
8. Sound Tripper (2:35)
9. Blows & Arrows (4:46)
10. Telephiles (3:16)
11. Seeing Stars (4:11)
12. Voodoo Tube (3:47)
13. The Wanderer (5:00)

Total Time 44:26

Line-up / Musicians

- Luke Ancell / Guitars
- - Scott Ancell / Drums, Percussion
David Morkunas / Bass, Keyboards
- Xen Havales / Vocals, Flute
- Scott Ancell / Additional Guitar on Kamikaze Karma, Glockenspiel The Wanderer
- Xen Havales / Additional Guitar on The Wanderer, Glockenspiel on Seeing Stars

Releases information

Label: Bird's Robe Records
February 1, 2014

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
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A LONELY CROWD Transients ratings distribution

(9 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(67%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

A LONELY CROWD Transients reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by The Truth
COLLABORATOR Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars If there was ever such a thing as the perfect blend of alt-rock and progressive rock, this would be it. Each song is fairly short and concise with pretty good female vocals, and if it weren't for the heavy guitar work behind, A Lonely Crowd might have produced an excellent indie-alt-rock album of sorts.

That being said, the excellent instrumentation that backs all of the vocals (which are pretty skillfully done and have pretty good lyrics) really adds something special to the mix. The are heavily progressive, at times approaching progressive metal in nature, but they never get too heavy and that is where this perfect blend comes from and it makes for an incredibly interesting listen.

I would recommend this album without a second thought, streaming is free on bandcamp and a download is worth every penny. It grabs your attention first listen, and yet it is still a grower in that you find something more to like each time. In that way alone, it is worth your time.

4 well-deserved stars.

Review by Andy Webb
4 stars The past few years have shown that just about anything is possible from the Aussie prog scene. Bands like Karnivool are finding incredible success in their local scenes as well as the global prog scene with their impressive musical explorations, while dozens of lesser- known but just as creative bands such as Ne Obliviscaris, Dead Letter Circus, Caligula's Horse, Pirate, and this newer outfit, A Lonely Crowd, have been changing the game and producing some of the highest quality progressive music the scene has seen in quite some time. While the 'classic' areas of prog like England and Germany reach their critical mass, areas such as Australia will be the new hotbed of quality prog.

A Lonely Crowd is definitely one of these modern Aussie bands who are pushing the envelope of modern progressive rock. Releasing their debut album User Hostile in 2011, the band is fairly young, but with their follow up Transients they show that even for their experience they have a mature identity and a strong musical sensibility.

Built around the amalgamation of dozens of styles and sounds, A Lonely Crowd's sound is a melting pot of alternative rock, heavy prog sensibilities, and an experimental nature that permeates their entire sound. Fronted by the powerful female vocalist Xen Havales, the band has a unique sound comparable perhaps only to the equally unique Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. The band, however, stays away from the rampant avant-garde nature that SGM embraces; instead, they foster a curious state of catchy experimentality.

While a song's melodic structure should be atypical of any earworm a listener may have had, I at least found a number of melodies, such as the one on Kamikaze Karma or Teliphiles, stuck in my head for days. The band's strong emphasis for carefully constructed instrumentation and well-articulated vocal harmony make for very mature-sounding compositions.

Compared to their previous effort, however, the band, in many ways, sounds reserved even for the energy-packed nature of their music. Songs like Sound Tripper and the finale The Wanderer show a much softer, jazz-oriented side to the band that was very underrepresented on User Hostile. This, of course, does not mean that the band did not bring any of their punk-fueled energy with them, however. Plenty of songs, such as Voodoo Tube, show a THRAK-era King Crimson-esque avant/punk instrumental sensibility that fuses gorgeously with the airy female vocals. On the other hand, the band also maintains their very conservative songwriting ability as well, showcasing their fairly straightforward and very catchy songwriting style, such as on Blur.

In the end, just like their previous effort, Transients is an incredibly varied effort from the band. While the band sounds slightly reserved and packaged at a few select points, the overall effort is a more mature offering from the band. While the band may still be working out what style really makes them tick, they are not afraid to explore every avenue they have on their musical roadmap. The music, however, is just as exciting as I hoped it would be when I heard User Hostile for the first time back in 2011. I think in the coming years, A Lonely Crowd will condense their sound into a focused, mature, and impressive display of eclectic heavy progressive rock. 4+ stars.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
4 stars Australian Prog is well and truly on the map with A Lonely Crowd; a fabulous blend of prog metal meets jazz fusion, wavering on the cusp of eclectic prog. The time sigs are way off kilter throughout, the melodies drift up and down the scales and the vocalist, Xen Havales, has the octave jumping skill of Annie Haslam. Their first album in 2011 "User Hostile" was a dynamic introduction to the band that I was most impressed with, so it was a delight to discover that the band continue this brand of excellence with their latest release "Transients".

The songs are short sharp shocks of prog excess and never wear out their welcome, though one may wish the songs were extended. There is little room for huge jams or instrumental breaks, instead the album seems to move along quickly and before one has had a chance to take in the massive sound on a particular song it has already moved onto the next. The heavy 'Godamnesia' is a case in point as I had no idea it had ended before 'Inspector' began.

'Inspector' is delightfully quirky with an odd angular rhythm that bashes along with distorted glee and then an odd break into sporadic jazz fusion bursts. Xen's vocals are bang on target with aggression giving way to light folk styles. It is better to listen to than explain so I leave this up to you. It is so interminably short for such a great song.

'Blur' has a King Crimson feel with Frippian guitar licks by Luke Ancell, and 'Kamikaze Karma' has some wonderful vocals with a Celtic lilt, the scales that Xen floats along and the way she keeps in tune with so many notes hit dead on is phenomenal.

'Rapture' features some breakneck drumming from Scott Ancell, and a notably off beat bass performance from David Morkunas. 'Sound Tripper' is another short trippy thing with an ultra cool melody and memorable catchphrase "dreamcatcher, rainmaker, sorcerer, dictator, soundmaker, dreamweaver, healer and owl" sung in time to the rhythmic feel.

'Blows & Arrows' is one of the heavier tracks with Luke's relentless guitar crashing down and then some dreamy vocals to offset the balance. The song settles into a jazz fusion with odd time sigs and then launches into more distortion breaks. I love the flute work of Xen on this as a counterpoint. Some thought provoking lyrics enhance it, such as "a crack in the door into my room where I stand, bend my bow back and let the arrow fly, into my heart like a hunter in trance".

'Telephiles' is an attention grabber with killer melody that haunts the listener without mercy. 'Seeing Stars' introduces glockenspiel passages embellishing the bizarre atmosphere. Xen belts out phrases such as "Stars are on fire". Again I can't help but be reminded of King Crimson with those angular riffs and the overall sound the band generates. Luke channels Fripp at times, and the odd use of glockenspiel is wonderfully, deliriously out of place. 3 minutes in, the sig changes into a jazz breakdown and some spaced out vocals "bye bye bird on a wire, waiting for a bite sized cloud".

'Voodoo Tube' has a Frippian intro, and moves into strange tempo shifts. The rhythm is all over the map and grooves into a vocal that sounds like Toyah; ironic really as Toyah married Fripp!

'The Wanderer' is the longest track at 5 minutes, featuring more glockenspiel and rhythms that are out of the park. The song is a mystery tour of amazing tempo jolts and sweet vocals. It opens with Luke's gentle guitar vibrations, Xen in a melancholy mood and David has put the drumsticks away. Xen muses on "a wild goose chase", pinning her "hopes on vanishing lands", thinking she can be "caught like smoke with two hands", with "feathers dropping off one by one". The song soon builds into sporadic drum and bass, and breaks into glockenspiel accompaniment to Xen's jaunty see-sawing Kate Bush-ian vocals. David swaps the bass for piano on this and lays a foundation for some gorgeous guitar soloing. The piano finishes off the song with quiet resolve.

Overall, this album is another triumph for A Lonely Crowd. It is hard to pick out a particular favourite as the songs all work together well. There are a myriad of styles and I believe this will appeal to many prog lovers and those who enjoy the quirkier side of jazz. Metal heads may even appreciate the heavier moments though overall this crosses into too many genres to pin down any in particular. The music is inspirational but it is Xen that really makes this extra special. "Transients" is yet another excellent album to enjoy from this inventive, passionate and dynamic quartet.

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Australian band A LONELY CROWD has been a going concern since 2008 from their base in Melbourne. They came to some prominence following the release of their debut album "User Hostile", and were signed to the Australian label Bird's Robe Records for the release of their second studio effort "Transients", which surfaced at the start of 2014.

Hard alternative rock combined with gentler light toned passages and with a liberal amount of more or less subtle jazz details thrown in for good measure are the main ingredients used on A Lonely Crowd's sophomore production "Transients". An impressive, quirky and fairly challenging affair, and a CD that documents that you can indeed make progressive rock even when exploring short-length compositions. While not all that similar in sound, my gut feeling is that this album should have a fairly strong appeal amongst those who enjoy the US band District 97. There are similarities in sound also beyond the fact that both bands feature some of the most skilled female lead vocalists in progressive rock, and while the similarities aren't all that strong and obvious there's still enough of them to conclude that both bands should appeal to a fairly similar audience.

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