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However - Sudden Dusk CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.10 | 55 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars An unheard of American East Coast group that soldiered on through most of the 70's without recording contract, and when they finally did record an album, the era had hanged and the album never stood a chance. This multi-instrumentalist quartet was anything but also-rans, judging from their debut album, which consists of tracks written as far back as 74, but all recorded in the winter of 81. These guys are impressive musicians developing a complex but accessible prog that can qualify between RIO and Canterbury, with some Avant-prog twists. There are many bangs that comes to mind when listening to this album, from Zappa, to National Health, Univers Zero or Present, Gentle Giant etc.. But the group seems to be lead by bassist keyboardist PM Prince, the principal composer, but there are many guests as well.

Mostly instrumental tracks (only 4 of 11 have extended lyrics, many more just short verse scattered here and there), such as the second part of the opening track (almost ripped off from GG) or the short but amazing In The Aisles strongly UZ-influenced. The next track Louise is a superb piano instrumental piece with a sax, but feels a bit like filler material. Things really get started with the lengthier Beese, where the Kent-esque spirit really peeks: we are close to the weirdest and craziest of Hatfield, Egg, GG, early- Hillage and early-Hackett. This track is brilliant and one of the highlights of the album. However (the preposition), the title track is much harder to get into and veers towards RIO in the Art Bears or French TV mode. Lamplight is definitely more in the Moerlen- Hillage realm, while Grandfather Was The Driver is again between Canterbury silliness and RIO strangeness. Although a slow starter, Trees For The Forest is one of the two centerpieces of the album slowly driving you from woodland ambiances to crescendo- ing sax and dry guitars mid-tempo abrupt mid-section to return to the original woodland calmness. Midst Of Making is again very close to GG, especially in the vocal delivery but not just that. The closing No Cows is a mix of GG crossed with Henry Cow (and some inevitable UZ-like bassoon in the intro), but it could easily fit in Power & Glory or Freehand albums. Overall this is one of the better GG-cloned album with Et Cetera and both much better than Epidermis.

However, the group (I mean the group However >> betcha you didn't expect this easy pun, right? ;-) managed to survive until the latter 80's as another record (never seen or heard) was released then. In the meanwhile, this "debut" is one of the better things coming out of the dreaded decade. Almost essential (but a bit too derivative, mainly from GG, to really be awesome), but well worth your investigations.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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