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Master Cylinder - Elsewhere CD (album) cover


Master Cylinder


Canterbury Scene

3.73 | 23 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars MASTER CYLINDER were based out of Fort Worth, Texas and released this sole album back in 1981. Keyboardist Joe Rogers was the driving force of this band and he was greatly influenced by the music of Frank Zappa and SOFT MACHINE before getting into WEATHER REPORT and Chick Corea. So the music here is very jazzy, and most places I've looked have tagged this album as Canterbury just to give you an idea of the sound. THE MUFFINS and even NATIONAL HEALTH could also certainly be mentioned when talking about this all-instrumental record.

"Overture" certainly changes tempos a lot from the uptempo keyboard led intro where we get some excellent bass lines to the calm that follows. Flute before 2 minutes as it has picked up again then it settles right down again with piano and horns coming and going. It's building again but again it settles back quickly. Full speed ahead before 4 minutes as jazzy drums and bass help out. "Isabelle" is laid back with piano, bass and drums before synths and more join in as it picks up. This is very jazzy especially before 1 1/2 minutes with piano, drums and bass. Back to that opening theme before it picks up again.

"Elsewhere" is the longest track at over 10 minutes. Cymbals to start as the sound swells and recedes over and over until after 2 minutes when drums and a darker sound take over. I like this. Horns join in but it's relaxed until it picks up around 3 minutes, jazzy is the word. Nice bass solo a minute later and I really dig the jazzy piano, drums and bass after 5 1/2 minutes. Even the guitar sounds jazzy after 7 minutes. It starts to settle back before 9 minutes.

"Silhouette" is led by keys, drums and bass in this energetic intro before it settles right down with synths and more. Piano after 1 1/2 minutes then this almost silent calm follows with faint sounds until the bass, cymbals, synths and more arrive. It's still relaxed until it picks late to end it. "Sleep 1937" is another jazzy uptempo number with horns, bass and drums standing out. It does settle some after 2 minutes with intricate sounds coming and going before it settles even more with random drum patterns and other sounds. Electric piano 4 minutes in as it starts to build with drums and synths. It's uptempo again after 4 1/2 minutes. Jazzy bass a minute later then horns. Nice.

"Plus 3" has this pulsating rhythm before it calms down around a minute. Keys join in as well and lead the way before that pulsating rhythm returns. Keyboards come in over top then we get a calm as this intricate drum solo takes over but it's brief. It's pulsating again. A calm 7 minutes with melancholic synths and more. Bass to the fore after 7 1/2 minutes. It's fuller and brighter before 9 minutes, guitar as well to the end. "Hobb & Geeb" features some impressive drums work and I really like the electric piano and bass. A calm before 2 1/2 minutes with flute and intricate sounds. Picked guitar late joins in this uptempo soundscape. There's even a Classical vibe the way it ends.

Kind of a cool album cover that connects with the title of album. I don't love this album as sometimes it comes across as little lightweight for my tastes at times but overall I think it deserves 4 stars. There's some really impressive moments and passages that make me look forward to spinning this one.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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