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Flash Reforms with Ray Bennett & Colin Carter, CD

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sherrynoland View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sherrynoland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 25 2013 at 14:56
"Flash combines masterful guitar-oriented progressive rock with good old classic rock."

"Imagine Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young jamming with Yes."

"Ray Bennett showcases his dazzling skill as a guitar player..."

"Flash’s Featuring Ray Bennett & Colin Carter is truly an impressive comeback."

~Will Romano, Progressive Rock Central 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sherrynoland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 28 2013 at 01:19
People are posting on the new Flash facebook page and I'm finding out some interesting things I never knew.

For instance, they were nominated for a Grammy for their first album cover!

Look at the competition.  How did they lose?!!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sherrynoland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 28 2013 at 03:51
Flash on Polish radio again this week—"10,000 Movies." 

Love it—P. McCartney, Beatles, then Flash...

http://www.mlwz.ceti.pl/dmdocuments/mlwz2013-06-26.mp3

And last week—"Night Vision" and "Manhattan Morning" lead off the show, all tracks from the new CD...Sorry, I had this link wrong. It's correct now...

http://www.mlwz.ceti.pl/dmdocuments/mlwz2013-06-19.mp3



EDIT:  Sorry, these links don't work anymore.  But you can hear Night Vision on youtube.
http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_qW5PAEEGs



Edited by sherrynoland - August 24 2013 at 15:31
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sherrynoland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 02 2013 at 06:29
Two singles now on youtube, Hurt and Night Vision.

Edited by sherrynoland - August 24 2013 at 15:29
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Evolver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 02 2013 at 09:52
My copy has taken a very long time to get to me. Cry
 
Tracking says it was transferred to the USPS yesterday.
 
That means I could get it today, or in 40 years.
Trust me. I know what I'm doing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sherrynoland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 02 2013 at 14:58
Sorry.  

Good luck!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Evolver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 06 2013 at 09:40
I finally received it yesterday.

I listened to it once so far, and I like it.
It remains true to the original band's sound, while exploring some other musical spaces.
I was pleased that every time it sounded like a song was settling into something predictable, there would be a flourish or change that renewed my interest.
I appreciate the fretless bass work a lot.

My only complaint so far is in production.  I find the drums and vocals sounding a bit pinched in the recording, possibly compressed too much.  So for I have only listed to it in my car.  I may change my opinion after hearing it on other systems.
Trust me. I know what I'm doing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sherrynoland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 06 2013 at 16:01
Thanks for your comments, Scott.  I'm glad you like it.

Ray says he didn't play a fretless, however.  He used a regular bass and a five-string in a few spots.  Keep listening.  I hear something new every time!  Thumbs Up


Edited by sherrynoland - August 24 2013 at 15:31
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Evolver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 06 2013 at 17:29
Originally posted by sherrynoland sherrynoland wrote:

T
Ray says he didn't play a fretless, however.  He used a regular bass and a five-string in a few spots.

Really?  He slides around like a fretless, and I head no fret noise.  I'm impressed.

My wife likes the album, too.
Trust me. I know what I'm doing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sherrynoland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 07 2013 at 01:01
Yeah!  He's not too shabby on bass. 

Hail to your wife!  Wink

Correction:  Ray had forgotten—he used a fretless in a couple of spots, he says; on the chorus of "Grand Canyon", and another brief spot or two.  Maybe that's what you were hearing, Scott.  But IMO, he's pretty nimble with any bass in his hands!


Edited by sherrynoland - August 24 2013 at 15:33
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Evolver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 08 2013 at 14:27
Whew! I'm not crazy.

At least not because of that.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sherrynoland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 13 2013 at 15:31
For our German friends, and anyone else who wants to try to decipher the robo-translartors...another review.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sherrynoland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 22 2013 at 00:39
A new review. This time in English...from Dmitry Epstein of "Let It Rock Magazine."

http://dmme.net/flash-featuring-ray-bennett-colin-carter/


Edited by sherrynoland - July 22 2013 at 21:17
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sherrynoland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 29 2013 at 02:07
The review above also links to an interview Mr. Epstein did with Ray Bennett in 2002 shortly after the release of Ray's solo CD, "Whatever Falls."
http://mme.net/interviews/bennett.html

Ray talks about the challenges of his life as a musician, his early days in London with Yes and others, the Flash break-up and reunion... 

A quote from the interview:
Quote One thing I’ve found is that it’s essential in an artist’s life to become your own man, and that’s easier said than done. But if you can do it sooner rather than later, all the better. You have to create yourself. Be the author of your own life – to be truly “here”. The word “authentic” comes to mind. A true artist invents himself. You must not be a copy, or a type. You have to be as unique as an artist as you are as a person, otherwise you are a simple craftsman, following familiar practices. To be an artist you have to take your own journey. Even if it means rejecting everything you know – or being rejected by it. Being an artist is like constantly being reborn, but in a very conscious way. Much is said about the journey of life, but the musician’s life is such an obvious example – through time and experience. No matter what happens, those who really love music have the most fun, and stay with it. My path has steadily led me back to now being more visible, more available and more confident.


Edited by sherrynoland - May 07 2014 at 16:02
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sherrynoland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 29 2013 at 02:33
Don't know how this is possible, but since the band isn't getting any royalties on sales of these early Flash CDs, you might as well know you can listen to their albums on youtube (except the new one).  Someone has posted them all, so listen while they last...

The debut album, "Flash"...


The second album, "In The Can"...


The third album, "Out Of Our Hands"...


And the rare live CD, "Psychosync" compiled from radio and TV performances (pretty rough)...



UPDATE:  All the full-length Flash albums have finally been removed from youtube.  You can still find most of the songs individually. However, the best way to enjoy Flash is to pick up your own CD or come hear them play when you get the chance; you know, the "old fashioned way".




Edited by sherrynoland - September 01 2013 at 15:08
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sherrynoland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 01 2013 at 02:04
New press—

Review:


Music Street Journal
http://www.musicstreetjournal.com/index_cdreviews_display.cfm?id=104028

Flash Featuring Ray Bennett & Colin Carter

Review by G. W. Hill

This disc is likely to make my list of “best of 2013.” It really does capture the classic Flash sound. And, considering Peter Banks (original Flash guitarist who passed away this year) isn’t here, that says a lot. There are a lot of different sounds and styles here. If you’ve ever liked Flash, this is sure to please. If you’ve not heard them, it would be a great introduction. It’s really a great CD, no matter how you look at it.

Track by Track Review
http://www.musicstreetjournal.com/index_cdreviews_display.cfm?id=104028


New in-depth interview:

Blastzone Online

Interview With Ray Bennett Original Bass Player For Flash

http://blastzoneonline.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/interview-with-ray-bennett-original-bass-player-for-flash/

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sherrynoland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 05 2013 at 01:11
"10,000 Movies" from the new CD getting airplay in Germany tonight (8/4).  Not sure if you can hear it on their online archive...

http://www.afkmax.de
http://www.facebook.com/AFKmax
http://iPhone.afkmax.de

afk max – Rockin’ Radio (Nürnberg/Germany)

PROGDEPENDENT #486 4th August 2013

ARTIST

FLASH
10.000 Movies

Flash feat. Ray Bennett & Colin Carter

LABEL

Purple Pyramid / Cleopatra Rec.


Contact Progdependent / Harald Schmidt: progdependent@arcor.de Listen to our Live-Stream / Webradio:

www.afkmax.de --- www.facebook.com/AFKmax --- iPhone.afkmax.de

Future PROGDEPENDENT-shows Sunday 8-12 pm (except where noted):
1st Sept. --- 15th Sept. --- 29th Sept. --- 13th Oct. --- 27th Oct. --- 10th Nov. --- 24th Nov. --- 8th Dec.

Every Thursday, 10-12 pm: PROG EXTENDED (with ThomKat) or ROCK EXTENDED (with Alfred)


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sherrynoland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 16 2013 at 00:41
An interview with photos for Portuguese magazine Via Nocturna: 
http://vianocturna2000.blogspot.pt/2013/08/entrevista-flash.html

Translation (permission was granted to reproduce):
For more than 40 years the British prog rockers, Flash, have not published an album of original material. Ray Bennett and Colin Carter, two founding members decided it was time to reunite Flash. Although not all members have agreed to participate, the new album has not minimized the legacy by nipping one of the most important names in the genus. The two remaining members have spoken openly to Via Nocturna recalling the situations, good and bad, of a short but significant past.

Hi, thanks for your availability to answer to Via Nocturna, and it’s a pleasure to talk to you. When and why did you decide to record a new Flash album?


RB:  Thank you.  Glad to answer a few questions.  Regarding the new album; It was a progression of events that led us to this new record.  In the early 2000's all the original Flash members got in contact again after a long gap with no contact at all.  I spoke with Colin Carter the most then, and eventually our conversations started to turn toward the idea of a musical partnership again.  Also, the possibility of reforming Flash with the other original members.  An agent friend of mine was encouraging that idea and he wanted to book us. Pete Banks was invited, as was Mike Hough, though neither followed through even though they seemed excited by the idea at first.  After Flash was asked to play at The Baja Festival in Mexico in '05 both Peter and Mike Hough dropped out of the picture, so Colin and I played the show as a duo.  Following that, we continued to work as a duo and with a band (The Bennett Carter Band) playing a variety of material.  We gigged quite a lot.

Later, around 2008 or so, someone suggested to me that we should do a new version of Flash with new people and new material.  The idea grabbed me right away.  But finding the right people to fit in with a band like Flash proved to be quite difficult and it was more than a year before we got on the current course.  

Colin and I felt that a new album should be genuinely new, and of today, not a re-hash of our past. We write a lot and have a ton of ideas, so it wasn't too hard to get it rolling.  Deciding on the flavour was a tougher question.  We just had to let it grow and evolve to see what would happen.  The going was pretty slow for several reasons.  The first sessions were re-done because we let the first rhythm section go.  They turned out wrong for us.  Also, I had to make several extended trips to the UK as both my parents died.  So recording was done in episodes.  I think the time it took worked to our advantage.  Some ideas appeared in the later stages that might not have happened at all without those gaps in recording and the time to reflect.  Overall It grew into an album that reflects a more "grown-up" Flash.

CC:  Ray and I had worked together and separately on many other projects since Flash broke up, but we both felt we had more to offer the Flash legacy. The original lineup had lasted less than 4 years. We had tried to reform the original band with Mike Hough and Pete Banks in time to appear at the Mexicali Prog Festival in 2005 but they both failed to commit to the project, so Ray and I performed Flash material as a duo. Ray and I remained in contact and I believe around 2009 we began writing material with the idea of recording a new Flash album. I live on the west coast in Oregon and Ray lives in Las Vegas, Nevada which is only a one hour flight from me, so I began commuting there and we began recording and building the tracks for the CD

How did you recruit the new members?

RB:  Finding new people is always a bit haphazard.  Initially it often starts with friends, or friends of friends.  Our drummer, Mark Pardy, also English, is an old friend of mine who played on my solo album, "Whatever Falls" in New York in 2001.  We played together years before that too.  A really fine player.  Our keyboard man, Rick Daugherty was here in Las Vegas and was a very lucky find.  Las Vegas, by the way, has some top notch players with all kinds of interesting backgrounds and stories. Rick has amazing chops and is very hardworking, very thorough, and a very accomplished player and writer.  He also had a background in playing prog rock when he lived in Germany growing up.  He quickly became a permanent member of the lineup.  The bass slot is more flexible.  At present we have no permanent member.  Wayne Carver, another Vegas guy who loves prog rock, has played bass on our live shows so far, though I played all the bass on the current album.  We all thought as I was the original bass player in Flash, I should do the job.  In this band the bass has an important part to play in the writing and development of a piece.  Plus, we thought our old fans would appreciate it if I did the bass work.
 
CC:  At that time we had no complete lineup so we used the services of Vegas drummer Paul Pace on several of the first tracks with Ray and I adding guitars, bass, synths and vocals . Around this time Ray was introduced to a fabulous keyboard player, Rick Daugherty, who added his own flourishes and became a full-time collaborator on the project. Ray then recruited drummer Mark Pardy, who he had known for many years, to finish up the remaining tracks.    

This album was recorded during a period of three years. Why did it take so long?

CC: Yes, the CD took about 3 years to complete. We wanted the record, when it was finished, to be able to stand equally with the earlier albums, but also to offer something new that was as rich in detail and structure and energy as we could make it. The work was very intense at times. Some songs had sections that were recorded and built on, only to be edited out from the final disc.  A process of refinement, which, of course, takes time.

And about your fans? How have your older fans reacted?

RB:  It's been really good.  Many have said it's like the old band in flavour, but with a modern feel, too. This is the reaction I had hoped for. 

CC:  We have some die-hard fans from the original lineup days who still follow us and were interested to hear something new from Flash. Judging by the feedback they have given, they are very happy with the new material and the new sound and style. Something old, something new. We have also found the beginnings of a new younger audience that are seeing and hearing us for the first time. 

For this new album you wrote seven new songs, two of them instrumentals. Are they all recent songs or some of them come from your previous times?

RB:  All the material is new except Manhattan Morning, from our third album "Out Of Our Hands" (1973), and it's quite a different version on this new album.  We had intended it to be a simple acoustic piece that would highlight the song itself with less instrumental arrangement.  Also we wanted to highlight Colin's voice and a quieter setting is good for that.  It grew into something else, of course, typically Flash!  I really like the way it came out.  A nice change of pace for the album and a break from the high energy.  It's very atmospheric and quite sophisticated.

CC:  I have two new songs of my own on the record. Night Vision and 10,000 Movies, which were both written during those three years. Most of the lead and backing vocals on Night Vision plus most of the song structure and riffs were recorded by me in my home studio in Oregon and then later added to by Ray, Rick, and Mark in Las Vegas.  I rewrote, and added to, some of Ray's lyric ideas that form Grand Canyon. For me, lyric collaborations are difficult. I picture the scenario and then can fill in the details on my own songs, but working with someone else's words can be a wrestling match for me. After all, the words are coming out of my mouth. I don't want to say what I don't mean.

Precisely, Manhattan Morning was such a topic, so to speak…

CC: I have been performing solo, just voice and guitar, in the past couple of years and had been including Manhattan Morning in the set. It's present feel and tempo is the way I play it alone. I always felt "the song" itself had been almost overlooked in the original album version with it's long intro and long solo at the end.  Peter was recording his "Two Sides" solo album and was a little uncooperative at the time and was not in the studio much when we were trying to work on this song. With this new recording I tried to paint an atmospheric picture with the lyrics and add more detailed emotional vocal delivery. I added a third verse for the new recording and re-arranged the end choruses. I think it came out well on the CD. The vocals were also recorded here in Oregon.

Also a cover of NIN’s Hurt. Why did you choose that song in particular ?

RB:  It's a great and simple song with impact.  Rather like a John Lennon type song when he was doing his most dramatic solo stuff.  It also suits Colin's voice.  We played around with it and it just took off.

CC:  Ray, Rick, and I were kicking around song ideas by other writers when we came upon the Johnny Cash version of Hurt. I had not heard the Trent Reznor version at that time, so I put my own stamp on it when I sang it.  We began to jam it and it immediately showed promise as something we could include in the live show. We played it at the Prog Day Festival in 2010.  As you can see, it ended up on the CD. Many people seem to like it.

Looking back, how do you analyze your first releases? And how do you analyze the bridge between them and this new album?

RB.  The first album, "Flash," was very well rehearsed and overall I think it has the most "finished" sound of all three early records.  Having two songs with 'single' possibilities helped a lot in launching us.  We had a good producer, Derek Lawrence, and that was important then.  And there was Tony Kaye on keyboards which was the sound we had envisioned.  Flash with keyboards has a warm and fuller sound and that was what we had envisioned at the start.
     
With "In The Can" I felt at the time that we weren't quite ready to do the album and that we needed more material.  What we had was the other half of our live set plus two new songs, Colin's "Lifetime," and one of mine, "Monday Morning Eyes."  Mine was written just before the recording sessions and arranged and quickly rehearsed in the studio.  I like the way that came out, sounds very fresh and inspired to this day.  Overall, despite a few reservations of mine, I think it's a decent record.  I think it might have been better with a larger variety of songs to choose from.  But it does certainly represent a chunk of what we were doing live, though live we sounded better I think.  Even as a four piece without keys we had a fuller, beefier sound than was captured on this album.  The record has been remembered well, which is nice.  Many old fans even call it a favourite.

Overall, some parts of "Out Of Our Hands", our third and last of this period, still sounds very good. Excellent playing here and there and some fine "Flash" moments.  But the whole project was too rushed and I think it suffered from that.  The reason was pressure from the record company for quick results and to get us back on the road.  There was not enough writing time and what was crucial for Flash then, and still is today—time to get the right arrangement for a song.  I get an itch to totally re-do a lot of it, and in a completely different way when I hear the whole album now.  Good ideas were glossed over.  A lot of it was played way too fast and way too busy, even for my taste back then. Peter Banks was also working on a solo album at the same time.  Bad idea.  That didn't help.  It's hard to look at this album objectively now.  So much of it didn't turn out the way I envisioned and it's hard for me to appreciate what is there.  Of course our fans don't know all this and just take it for what it is.  It's not generally considered one our best from that time.

The live album "Psychosync," put out in the 90's was originally a bootleg, but most of it is a fairly good recording as it was done in a radio station for a live broadcast.  There are a couple of extra tracks that were used to fill out the album from a TV show, "Midnight Special", but the quality of those is not very good.  The radio show was recorded during our first tour of the US, 1972, so consists of material from the first two studio albums.  The rougher sounding stuff is from 1973, so includes songs from "Out Of Our Hands".  Definitely worth checking out.  BTW: The title, "Psychosync", is from one of my songs. A word I made up.  Star Trek used the same idea and called it a "mind-meld".

CC:  I think there are some great moments on the early albums. Tons of ideas and lots of fire! However, I think we had a few things working against us at that time. The first album, " Flash, " was recorded before we had ever been out in front of an audience, and as time passed and we had more gigs under our belt, the true nature of each song became apparent. Flash performing live was a far more powerful beast than was captured on any of the records. "Flash In The Can," our second album, was rushed together under intense pressure from our management and record company in England. We were still touring the States promoting the first album and we should have continued doing that instead of going back into the studio. We were short on material for the second record and rushed sessions were crammed in between tours of Europe and America. This album has more of a live feel as the band had begun to develop and flex it's muscles. It's still a favourite with many fans. The third album, "Out Of Our Hands," suffers even more from under-developed ideas and arrangements, and lack of time, but despite that, still has it's moments.  
   
Can we consider that now we'll have a Flash rebirth with more albums in the future?

RB:  That's easy to answer.  Yes.  Already planning the next album.

CC:  Flash is indeed reborn and undoubtedly with more records to come. I see no reason not to in a year or so. First we must get this one out in front of people. Live dates are what we need now.

Finally, can you say something more that is not covered in this interview?

RB:  When you get a chance to see the new Flash live, come check us out. 
It's a great sounding band, so don't miss it.  And we give away free stuff !!  No, just kidding.

Also, please visit our Facebook page, Flash-Featuring Ray Bennett & Colin Carter and hit LIKE. Then you can stay up to date with our progress, see our posts and general goings on.  The page is run by Sherry who gets a lot of interesting stuff up there.  And, there will be new videos soon.  

CC:  Hopefully we can come and play for you in Portugal. We'd love that! Thanks again for your interest.



 

Edited by sherrynoland - August 17 2013 at 15:13
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sherrynoland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 22 2013 at 18:27
Let's all raise a glass to this new release.  It's a good one!

Here's a new review from British "Fireworks Magazine" just out.  I think it's a print mag you have to subscribe to or get on newsstands, but you can see a preview here:  http://www.rocktopia.co.uk

FLASH – ‘FEATURING RAY BENNETT & COLIN CARTER’ (Purple Pyramid)

Flash were founded by lead vocalist Colin Carter, original Yes guitarist Peter Banks, bass player Ray Bennett, and drummer Mike Hough. The band released three well received albums in the 1970’s, and played major venues like the ‘Whiskey A Go-Go’ and New York’s ‘Avery Fisher Hall’.
This new album, their first in 40 years, was recorded over a period of three years with Ray now on lead guitar and Colin on rhythm guitar, the band now featuring keyboardist Rick Daugherty, drummer Mark Pardy and bass player Wayne Carver.

‘Night Vision’ begins with a wash of strings and some beautiful harmony vocals, and the first musical comparison that came to mind was the ‘Argus’ period of Wishbone Ash. The song has a true sense of the epic, and the fluid guitar lines have a radio friendly sheen. Taking on the NIN song ‘Hurt’ is ambitious at best, yet Flash inject a strong feeling of melancholy and a super cool bass guitar groove that drives the song. The vocals have a dry sweetness to them that serves the lyrics of the song well. We head off into jazz rock territory with ‘Something So Dark’ which at times is a clutter of ideas that never quite gel together.

From the band’s third studio album ‘Out Of Her Hands’, we have a re-recording of ‘Manhattan Morning’. Having never heard the original, I have nothing to compare, and to be honest, the song is a little directionless for my taste. I enjoyed the ambient introduction on ‘Grand Canyon’, and the song takes some twists and turns before the more sinister guitars and vocals head in a new direction.
We continue into new age territory as ‘Morpheum’ guides us on a journey of various moods and feelings of what is quite an impressive instrumental piece. ‘Richard Of Venice’ is a dreamy instrumental piano led piece. The song evokes a feeling of peacefulness, and brings to an end an ambitious collection of songs.
~Ray Paul

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