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41POINT9

Heavy Prog • United States


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41Point9 biography
Founded in California, USA in 2005

The band was founded in 2005, with old times friends Bob MADSEN (bass) and the original vocalist of ENCHANT Brian CLINE (guitar, vocals). The band never had a permanent drummer, so they had to invite guest musicians like NICK D'VIGILIO and JIMMY KEEGAN (SPOCK'S BEARD). Next up, Kenny STEEL joined the band (guitars, keyboards). The music of 41POINT9 is a fusion of prog, metal, AOR with strings arrangements in the lines of the bands mentioned above.

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Mr. Astute TrousersMr. Astute Trousers
The Highlander Company Records 2018
$6.77
$5.99 (used)
Still Looking For AnswersStill Looking For Answers
PROGROCK RECORDS 2011
$12.93
$6.57 (used)
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41POINT9 discography


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41POINT9 top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.05 | 2 ratings
Still Looking For The Answers
2011
3.96 | 5 ratings
Mr. Astute Trousers
2018

41POINT9 Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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41POINT9 Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

41POINT9 Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Mr. Astute Trousers by 41POINT9 album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.96 | 5 ratings

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Mr. Astute Trousers
41Point9 Heavy Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars This band originally started life as a duo back in 1995 when bassist/ songwriter/ producer Bob Madsen met guitarist/songwriter/singer Brian Cline in the North Bay Area of California. Brian and Bob began working together on a few tunes written by Bob and began a lifelong 'bromance.' Interestingly to progheads, Brian was the original singer with Enchant and Bob has guested with them multiple times. The band is now completed by Kenny Steel (guitars, keyboards, string arrangements) and then guests are brought in on drums and additional instrumentation. There are a few things which make this band stand out for me, and the first is the bass. Here it is not being used as an instrument to sit alongside the drums but is often the lead melody. We are treated to a masterclass in how to use the instrument, both fretted and fretless, and it took me a long time to work out who Bob reminds me of, and in the end, I finally realised it was the mighty Ox, John Entwistle. Like Entwistle, Madsen can provide nuances, work the complete length of neck, and also put in blisteringly quick bursts when the music demands in. There are also times when we get slap and pop, which provides a totally different feel to the songs.

But, one of the reasons the bass is such a success is due to the strength of the songs and also to the wonderful vocals of Brian Cline. He can put a rough edge on his voice, or sing melodic straight down the line, which gives a totally different feel in many ways. This is music which refuses to be pigeonholed ' I know there are some which are calling it progressive, even heavy, but to be perfectly honest it is neither of those things, both these things, and much more. Think of it is as songs-based rock which contains elements and influences from everywhere while still staying pretty middle of the road in terms of overall sound. It is a clever trick designed to lull in the listener as the songs are full of hooks, well sung, but with far more going on than may immediately be apparent. I gave up trying to think who these guys really remind me of, and in the end will just say Eighties melodic rock with pop and prog tendencies, which at times may or may not include funk. There is a confidence in both the performance and material that they will have complete sections where it may be just drums, vocals, and/or bass. It is an incredibly laid-back album in that it never feels rushed and the listener relaxes into it like a favourite armchair.

Elements of Level 42, Tears For Fears and Be Sharp? Yes, I guess, maybe. Oh, I don't know, just go out and grab this album as it is a damn fine listen and I smile each and every time I play it as I enjoy it that much.

 Still Looking For The Answers by 41POINT9 album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.05 | 2 ratings

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Still Looking For The Answers
41Point9 Heavy Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is the debut album of the American band that was recently added to the database, seemingly on the strength of the second, presumably more progressive album Mr. Astute Trousers (2018); I remember suggestions being made when the debut had come out, but the band was (strangely) rejected or ignored back then. I originally received this album to be reviewed in a Finnish prog magazine Colossus in 2012. I haven't much listened to it ever since, but the CD still happens to be in my collections, so why not review it here.

BTW, have a closer look at the cat on the cover: a buttered toast is tied on his back. This refers to two superstitious beliefs, a) cat always lands on his feet, b) toast always falls the buttered side down. The band invented a mock-scientific experiment, resulting as a cat floating in mid-air, according to the humorous liner notes. Ha ha. In 2015, British Neo Prog band Sanguine Hum released a concept album Now We Have Light, which incorporated the same mock-scientific idea in its adventurous and humorous sf plot. A mere coincidence or stealing of an idea? Anyway, this album is not conceptual, the cat experiment seems to appear only on the album covers. The lyrics here are something I'm not paying much attention to.

The band bio describes the music as a fusion of prog, metal and AOR. That description pretty much hits the nail. The core line-up is bassist Bob Madsen, vocalist Brian Cline (ex-ENCHANT) and guitarist-keyboardist Kenny Steel who joined a bit later. Without a permanent drummer they have recruited SPOCK'S BEARD men Nick D'Virgilio and Jimmy Keegan, among several other guest musicians and backing vocalists. Not being familiar with Enchant, the vocals strongly remind me of Neal Morse, another reason to have sonic connotations to Spock's Beard. 41POINT9 play energetic rock with the mentioned prog, AOR and metal elements, without being highly progressive on this album. I haven't listened to their second album.

The songs, when evaluated individually, are not bad at all. They will please you for sure if you fancy the style and the bands mentioned. There's the typically American feel, bold and catchy. The playing is good, that can't be denied. The problem, if there is one, is the the lack of originality, and the fact that with Spock's Beard and several other modern American prog bands you'll get rather similar music with a notably bigger variety in compositions, in a word, more progressive. 41POINT9 favours the AOR side instead of an eclectic prog approach such as the Gentle Giant influences you hear in Spock's Beard. There are some fine details, but they remain very small. Among nine tracks there's one instrumental, 'Surface Tension (A Drive Thru the City)', and one song which could be described as a ballad ('Promise the Moon'), but for the rest of material a tired feeling of sameyness sets in. A classic 3-star case: good but non-essential -- and so unoriginal.

 Mr. Astute Trousers by 41POINT9 album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.96 | 5 ratings

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Mr. Astute Trousers
41Point9 Heavy Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

4 stars That's kinda heavy progressive music for sure. Though Bob Madsen and Brian Cline, the founder of 41POINT9, are claiming the mystery. 'We don't care about styles or subjects or how a song will be classified.' Well, always a matter of definition of course. If you will describe it as 'rather complex though very accessible rock music which will embed diverse music styles and sentiments' ... that might be a matter of agreement, or what? Anyway, when checking their background a bit, it necessarily strikes that both are known for collaborating with Ted Leonard's Enchant once. When it comes to the earlier days, the last century. And that must have been the starting point for their friendship and musical co-operation too. Meanwhile 'Mr. Astute Trousers' is their sophomore album, I haven't heard anything from the predecessor yet anyhow. Although both are building the core, at least Kenny Steel is aboard as another constant, can be seen as a steady band member therefore.

There are many aspects which makes this attractive. Above all, the compositions are masterful. Garnered with Madsen's vivid bass lines, and of course Cline's excellent singing voice, just trying to point out the most obvious. As for the global flow, over the course, gradually, the album is getting into more shallow waters, so to say. Hence, while taking care of my preference yet, this effort offers its real strength straight from the very start. Now let the guitars speak. Enchanting melodies with singalong character are offered, definitely entertaining. This is skillfully woven, including pop moments, folk and smooth jazz sentiment, samples, electronics, as well as courageous vocal and string arrangements. This album is a must have in each and every case. Especially if you're already keen on bands like Tiles, Spock's Beard, Nine Stones Close and similar.

 Mr. Astute Trousers by 41POINT9 album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.96 | 5 ratings

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Mr. Astute Trousers
41Point9 Heavy Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

4 stars "First review of this album"

What a strange name for a band, you can call it adventurous, like their music! In 1995 bassist/songwriter/producer Bob Madsen met guitarist/songwriter/singer Brian Cline in the North Bay Area of California. Brian and Bob began working together on a few tunes written by Bob. In Brian, Bob had found the perfect voice for his muse. After nearly a decade of friendship the two decided to start a band together. That band is 41POINT9 and is known for being a prog rock band, but Bob and Brian would probably argue that point with you. "We don't care about styles or subjects or how the song will be classified. We start out with an idea and let the idea dictate where the song will lead. We usually write the lyrics first and then add the music in order to further the concept of the song. As such, we are able to bring a diverse range of musical influences to bear, like a painter would with many pigments and brushes. We actually create the songs with little to no regard for how we would or even could perform them live." Bob continues, "We might combine Stravinsky strings with funk bass and heavy metal guitars. Hip-hop or EDM production styles might meet new wave synths and storytelling lyrics that would be at home on a classic country album. We simply don't care as long as the song is good." "Notice we didn't mention Prog?" Brian adds, "We absolutely love progressive music; however, we don't stop there. We are in the pursuit of the different. Shouldn't progressive music progress? Why apply the same stylistic norms that have been used since the '70s and still call it progressive? That's not progressive - that's stagnant." "Don't get us wrong," chimes in Bob, "we are writing songs with a very strong pop sensibility and we feel they are eminently listenable; we just don't feel the pressure to stay in one genre or tonality. It just doesn't matter as long as it serves the song."

In 2011 the band released their debut CD entitled Still Looking For The Answers, a mix between Neo-prog, melodic rock and pop. Then ik took 7 years before 41Point9 released a successor, entitled Mr. Astute Trousers. Well, what an adventurous blend of styles, very well performed by outstanding musicians and with lots of interesting musical ideas. To me 41Point9 sounds as a very fresh and modern sounding band that take you on a captivating musical journey, these musicians are scouting musical boundaries, in a very dynamic way. The examples.

A sumptuous keyboard sound and howling and biting guitar runs in When Valkeries Cry.

A swinging rhythm with great interplay between heavy guitar and classical orchestrations, along fat synthesizer flights in For The King.

From rock guitar and bombastic outbursts to dreamy with warm vocals and fine string arrangements in The Marine.

An electronic touch and heavy guitars in the AOR inspired Confessions at Midnight.

A prog metal climate in The Black Line.

After a funny intro exciting slap bass and a powerful Alex Lifeson-like guitar sound in Tilting at Windmills.

A folky atmosphere with sparkling classical piano, warm vocals and bag pipes in The Loch, emphasizing the Scottish title.

And swinging jazz (rock) with awesome work on the bass and piano, along tender vocals, in the final track Familiar Strangers.

What a varied and eclectic sound, somewhere between modern progrock, fusion and AOR, this is a very interesting band to discover!

This review was recently published in a slightly different version on the Dutch progrock website Background Magazine.

Thanks to rdtprog for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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