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PAUL CUSICK

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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Paul Cusick biography
PAUL CUSICK, British born multi-instrumentalist, started his solo music career in 2009 with the release of his debut album "Focal Point". Previously CUSICK had spent years as the lead guitarist in several bands, but in 2008 his new year's resolution was to step out from behind his guitar and concentrate on his own song writing and production skills.

Within four months CUSICK had received record offers from two separate progressive rock labels. This interest gave CUSICK the confidence to continue writing and recording his debut album, whilst still maintaining his career as a Chartered Civil Engineer.

CUSICK's guitar style has been compared Steve HACKETT, David GILMOUR, Steve ROTHERY and Steven WILSON. His songs draw upon the sounds and audio landscapes created by bands such as PINK FLOYD, Peter GABRIEL, PORCUPINE TREE, CHROMA KEY and NINE INCH NAILS. However, the long instrumental pieces that are sometimes associated with the progressive rock genre have been replaced by catchy vocal melody lines akin to those evoked by more mainstream rock artists such as COLDPLAY and U2.

Currently there is no band. CUSICK sang and played all the instruments on "Focal Point" himself, but was joined in the studio by friend Alex 'The Groove Monster' CROMARTY on drums. Andy EDWARDS (FROST*, IQ) also made an appearance as guest drummer on the track 'Touch'.


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Focal PointFocal Point
Import
Q Rock Records 2009
Audio CD$10.99
$3.77 (used)
P'diceP'dice
Q Rock Records 2012
Audio CD$10.12
$8.99 (used)
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PAUL CUSICK discography


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PAUL CUSICK top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.34 | 32 ratings
Focal Point
2009
3.72 | 20 ratings
P'dice
2012

PAUL CUSICK Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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

2.35 | 5 ratings
Christmas Through Your Eyes
2009

PAUL CUSICK Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 P'dice by CUSICK, PAUL album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.72 | 20 ratings

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P'dice
Paul Cusick Crossover Prog

Review by Memo_anathemo

4 stars I discovered Paul Cusick listening to a radio station of prog music. The song I heard was Tears from this album. I liked the song and hurried to look for the album. After getting it, it was a real surprise to me that the album is really good. It contains really good songs. I expected something like no man or Nosound after listening to tears. But then I heard more influences of Fish in the way Paul sings, and the compositions. The album has really good moments, as I said before, good songs. Although there are a couple of average songs, nothing extraordinary, it contains excellent songs such as Borderline, Tears and Waiting. Recommended.

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 Focal Point by CUSICK, PAUL album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.34 | 32 ratings

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Focal Point
Paul Cusick Crossover Prog

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

3 stars I accidentally bumped into this release and remembered that it was in PA's featured albums a few months ago; and quite rightly so. Paul Cusick is a one-man band (except drums) and does really well in what he tries to deliver to his selected audience. His crossover prog is closer to the recent Porcupine Tree sound and Steve Wilson's personal projects.

Saying that, there is no attempted mimicking of any of the abovementioned, but there seems to be a natural tendency towards that direction. This is clearly a Briitish-sound influenced album - from the 70's to the 90's and back again. There are some characteristic touches from Floydian tunes, ambient atmospheres and commercial "methodologies" as in the case of Everblue. The title track stands out as the most experimental and adventurous, while Fade Away strongly resembles to The Wall. The rest of the album borrows many elements from Porcupine Tree (see Soul Words and Big Cars).

Compositionally, the album is well-thought and well-executed. Cusick delivers some exceptional melodies, primarily through solid vocal performance (Scared to Dream, Hold On). Pianos and keyboards add to the melancholic atmosphere. My main "complaint" is the shadowing of the experimental or progressive elements by a dominating commercial sound.

This album would definitely appeal to fans of Porcupine Tree, Blackfield (or any other Wilson project) or (mellow parts of) Dream Theater and friends of new ambient crossover sounds. Nonetheless, this is a nice and pleasant album of high quality music; promising for the future provided that Cusick decides to explore more adventurous paths.

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 Christmas Through Your Eyes by CUSICK, PAUL album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2009
2.35 | 5 ratings

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Christmas Through Your Eyes
Paul Cusick Crossover Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

2 stars 'Christmas Through Your Eyes' - Paul Cusick (Single)

The fact that this is a Christmas track doesn't do much for my appreciation. Much of the holiday music I've heard in my time (especially contemporary holiday music) has sounded very superficial and hollow to my ears, and it's generally not worth listening to at all. However, Paul Cusick did impress me with his debut release 'Focal Point,' so I figured there wouldn't be too much harm in checking this song out.

The song itself is fairly well written, with a very catchy chorus. However, the whole thing sounds just a bit cheesy; not helped by the fact there are horn sections towards the end and whimsical synth melodies sprinkled throughout.

In terms of the actual music and performance, I would have to agree that the song sounds a bit like Pink Floyd, or even Porcupine Tree. However, there is a really optimistic tone here, making the song alot more cheery than one might be used to from an atmospheric rock artist. A decent song with a cheesy message behind it.

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 Focal Point by CUSICK, PAUL album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.34 | 32 ratings

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Focal Point
Paul Cusick Crossover Prog

Review by Bonnek
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars Focal Point is a good album that fits in seamlessly in the gaps between David Gilmour's solo albums, Anathema, Chroma Key and the softer side of Porcupine Tree. And I'm quite sure it will appeal to all aficionados of that kind of music.

The album starts strongly with the title track intro, a very textured affair that has a heavy prog rocking basis but that also contains very atmospheric elements and very pleasant bass guitar work. It flows into the majestic Everblue, a modern prog anthem like we've heard them from Dredg and Muse but more genuine to these ears, especially due to the vocals which aren't as emo as mentioned indie proggers. Cusick doesn't have the most impressive range but his modest voice suits this wall of noise just fine.

The album is a bit uneven though and sometimes downright derivative as on the entirely Porcupine Tree-nicked Big Cars, while Hold On makes the same offence against Blackfield. Also ballads like Fade Away are too much indebted to David Gilmour's solo album material.

It isn't until the poignant atmospheric Touch that the album returns to the excellence of the opening tracks. Both the soft opening part and the wilder drum&bass rhythms that join remind me very much of the dreamy sadness of Massive Attack. Great track.

An enjoyable album for fans of mentioned artists. Judging from the best material, this artist sure has potential for an excellent album.

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 Focal Point by CUSICK, PAUL album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.34 | 32 ratings

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Focal Point
Paul Cusick Crossover Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars First of all I got to tanks to PA for having the oportunity to listen and having this CD with Paul Cusick in my collection andd second I won this album Focal point from 2009 on monthly gifts giveaway last year , I guess in october, since then I gived 2-3 spins, puted on my shelf for when I'm ready to aproach it. Now is the time for a decend review. Never heared about this musician, only from other reviews from here, but I was pleasently surprised about this album - Focal point release at Q Rock recods last year. I lso know that Paul Cusick is british multi instrumentalist, a thing that on this album is shown clearly, he plays at all instruments + vocals , but minus the drums sections made by Alex Cromarty but also as guest is the drumer from IQ - Andy Edwards. The music to my ears is something between on more mellower parts with Pink Floyd (The wall era), some Porcupine Tree moments here and thre and some psychedelic arrangements aswell. Not bad really, when I saw that the similarities are with PT, I was kinda full back from listning to this album, I'm no fan of their music and anything releated to them I considered not for me. Bu to my surprise this was good listen from capo al fine. I like the atmosphere of the album, the vocal parts on some passages reminds me aswell with Devin Townsend, little distorted, but ok in the end like on Everblue for ex. All pieces are ok, nothing bad here, all are mid tempo more rely on spacey guitars and background keyboards. I also like very much the sound of the drums, really well mixed and with full -fat sound. Anyway I liked this album, nothing really impressive, but pleasen, one of the exceptions from this kind of style that gives me some good impressions at the end of the album. So a good album that desearves 3 stars, but from my side no more then that. I have to tanks to Mr. Paul Cusick for kind words from the post card with the album cover and for his signature, recived together with the album.

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 Christmas Through Your Eyes by CUSICK, PAUL album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2009
2.35 | 5 ratings

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Christmas Through Your Eyes
Paul Cusick Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars The last few weeks leading up to Christmas has always stood as rather testing times for me as a music lover. Wherever you turn and wherever you go, one track more syrupy and cliched than the other are blarting out of loudspeakers, radios and televisions constantly - too many of which tell embarrasing stories relatdsed to the Coca Cola trademarked Santa Claus where the only aspect more horrible than the dreadful lyrics are the truly horrible music.

True enough, there is good Christmas music out there. But much too often it's the cliches that rule, and to get salvation and relief from the horror of it all I'll find my copy of Kevin "Bloody" Wilson's Christmas album for a laugh and some comic relief at the genre.

Cue Paul Cusick.

Progressive artists making Christmas songs have in most cases been among the better ones. And while I personally have always had a soft spot for Jethro Tull's excursions in the field, Cusick's take isn't too shabby either.

Mellow singer/songwriter material with symphonic embellishments, pretty neatly done, and with some darker and thankfully non-jolly tendencies in the second half. Not the most convincing of tunes as far as I'm concerned, but leaps and bounds better than 99% of what shops, the radio and TV torture us with in these last weeks leading up to Christmas.

All in all a well made effort, and a good alternative for a Christmas song with Christmas spirit.

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 Christmas Through Your Eyes by CUSICK, PAUL album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2009
2.35 | 5 ratings

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Christmas Through Your Eyes
Paul Cusick Crossover Prog

Review by Epignosis
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

2 stars I rather enjoyed Paul Cusick's debut Focal Point, so when I read he had pulled off a Christmas song, I was intrigued and had to check it out. "Christmas Through Your Eyes" has a happy, wandering-the-mall-and-shuffling-through-the-crowds tone with Paul Cusick's deep voice singing a resonating, Pink Floyd-like melody. The chorus has thick harmonies and is very catchy. However, the middle section captures the promised dark element of the song, as Cusick himself describes, what other time of year do we tell children that a strange, bearded man is coming down the chimney in the middle of the night? In that regard, it operates as a dark, twisted piece despite it largely being generally lighthearted. The artwork itself belies the otherwise cheerful, holiday mood (look at Santa's bag for a second). Musically, this isn't anything great, nor is there a lot going on instrumentally- it isn't even a progressive rock song, but this isn't meant to be any of those things. In any event, it was free to listen to and enjoy. This is a really weird composition and probably not something I'd settle down to for the holidays (for me, that would be songs like "The Rebel Jesus" and music from The Charlie Brown Chrismas Special; I'm also big on Alabama's Christmas, which was something of a tradition in my home growing up).

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 Focal Point by CUSICK, PAUL album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.34 | 32 ratings

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Focal Point
Paul Cusick Crossover Prog

Review by Epignosis
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

3 stars Fans of Porcupine Tree, listen up- this album has quite a few similar ingredients, and should please those who enjoy Lightbulb Sun or In Absentia. Although a decidedly average album, this has a few surprises in store, and can prove quite good as a progressive pop album. It is definitely worth checking out.

"Focal Point" Recognizable chords (from a certain classical piece) begin the first track, but the stay is brief. I like the subtle Mellotron in the background, and the crunchy guitar tone is a good tone. Although short, it's a good little introduction to give an idea of what Paul Cusick can do.

"Everblue" Harrowing synthesizer and smooth vocals make up this dark track. Overall, and especially during the guitar solo, the music sounds like modern King Crimson.

"Fade Away" A light piano and some strings give a lengthy introduction before the song proper begins. This piece does sound like Pink Floyd a fair bit, like a Roger Waters-led track right off The Wall.

"Soul Words" This more upbeat track is a lot like heavy Porcupine Tree, especially due to the sound and the vocal harmonies.

"Scared To Dream" However, this one sounds more like softer Porcupine Tree, led by a gentle piano and a very good vocal melody and performance. It doesn't stay low-key the whole time though, and takes a heavier approach during the second half.

"Touch" A sparse piano with cavern-like reverb begins this one. The verses are grim and almost whispered. It's quite an interesting track with some really great bass work and drumming. The female operator throughout the track is also a nice "touch."

"Senza Tempo" This is a lovely instrumental interlude, full of Mellotron and electric guitar.

"Big Cars" The gritty guitars and electronic noises are not to my taste, but make for a pretty good rock song once things get cranked up. If anything, it's another Porcupine Tree close cousin.

"Hold On" Not to be confused with the Yes song of the same name, this actually could be, since I feel this piece was written for Rabin-era Yes- it's that good!

"Hello" Unfortunately, I find the final track to be weak, laced with soft piano and dreary vocals. I really think the previous track should have finished the album up- this should have been placed elsewhere or left off altogether. Given my apathy toward it, the latter seems the better choice.

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 Focal Point by CUSICK, PAUL album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.34 | 32 ratings

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Focal Point
Paul Cusick Crossover Prog

Review by sampo

4 stars Focal Point, the debut album of the highly talented multi-instrumentalist Paul Cusick, is one of my favourite finds of 2009 so far. Why is that, one might ask. The music isn't very unique in terms of being progressive rock and the songs are fairly short and conventional by today standards. The sound is also largely reminiscent of Porcupine Tree and Blackfield. With this in mind, it's not hard to believe if some people would get rather disappointed after first listen, especially when the record has been heavily promoted on this very site. I should admit that I wasn't exactly blown away myself after first listen and my thoughts at the time pretty much ties in with what's written above.

Luckily, after the disc had spent some time in my car stereo, I gradually began to enjoy this record. One of the best things with music listening is when the music grows on you. For me, this record has grown to the point that it almost left me think that I could live with this and only this record for the rest of the year. We'll see what I think by the end of the year.

The first track, a well executed instrumental with a stunning guitar outro, sets the tune of the entire album. On "Everblue", Paul shows his musician skills when placing some fine, lush soundscapes beneath the surface of the vocals, drums and the guitar. The piano is a constantly returning element in Paul's music, along with the moving soundscapes. This is evident in the song "Fade Away", a highly touching one that deals with reflections, with vocals that remind me of Phideaux. A mellow ballad-like piece with a nice guitar solo that brings the listener to David Gilmour. One of my personal highlights on here is "Scared To Dream", with its haunting piano intro and the, once again, carefully placed soundscapes. Later on it bursts in to full tune with the drumming and the guitar. The choruses are so great and so emotionally sung that I get the feeling that Paul really means what he says. "Senza Tempo" is the other instrumental on the album and a tune that basically shows Paul's amazing guitar skills before fading in to "Big Cars". A song that, to me, literally screams Porcupine Tree. The vocals are mixed in a way that it almost sounds as if it's Steven singing! Also, the semi-aggressive approach in the melody along with the song title is something that could be found on a Porcupine Tree record. "Hold On" is probably my other favourite, a track where Paul demonstrates his great musicianship with his simple, yet moving lyrics.

So, what makes this so good? Especially when it's not that original? Well, first and foremost it's the way the record, despite the rather short songs, holds together. This has obviously to do with the production that is nothing short of fantastic. Secondly, it's Paul's way of using the 'small things' in the music. The soundscapes for example, that may not be out of interest after a listen or two but truly become an essential part of the songs when the music later on starts to hit you.

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 Focal Point by CUSICK, PAUL album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.34 | 32 ratings

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Focal Point
Paul Cusick Crossover Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Interesting release by multi instrumentalist Paul Cusick. The word crossover seems to fit just right to describe his music: a cross between alternative rock and prog rock, with some heavy metal riffing here and there. The ambient here is more melancholic than anything else, but the music is generally good. Even if Iīm not very fond of alternative rock I found no problem in hearing this CD from start to finish. It has some fine melodies and certain moments, like the poignant Fade Away, are very good. The production is to p notch and the playing (all vocals and instruments done by Cusick himself, but the drums) is superb.

Unfortunatly the songs donīt really stick after you hear them. Very few pieces are memorable and nothing moved enough to make me want to listen to the CD over and over again. It looks like Cusickīs first eford is more promising than fulfilling. Donīt get me wrong, It is a good start and it is obvious that the guy is talented. But he still has to hone his songwriting skills into something stronger and more of his own. Heīs got the power to go much further. Iīm looking forward to see his next works.

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