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Lobster Newberg - Vernal Equinox CD (album) cover


Lobster Newberg


Eclectic Prog

3.96 | 18 ratings

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4 stars One of the newest progressive bands in town, Lobster Newberg, has the full power to start from a casual point and evolve into something of a better and more special band. That's why, from showing the craft and verve of a young rock band, in such a normal way, they expand to a whole lot deeper expressions, once progressive rock becomes - almost - their heaviest source of imagination and inspiration (the first, true, bit more seldom); that's why, lining apparently together with all the new (US) bands that are not only home-trained but also unluckily independent (surely though LN will score a hit or two with the record labels, if they keep their chin up), they quickly detached by choosing a crystal clear and serious style, instead of a nice but lurking "indie", experimental, mellow-headed or retro first shot. That's why, in the end, their massive (hard-worked for sure) and complex identity also leads to a musical result of the same intensity - it's a result currently regarded impressive by popular prog fans and good "specialists", with hopes, of course, of the fanlist getting bigger.

Preferences can augment differently upon listening to Vernal Equinox, but the music begs to differ, no doubt, when the given credit is rather low, out of a couple of simple reasons: a stuffed-till-the-last-space long album with progressive rock of a crafted (and just some good measures away from being superior too) effect, a heavy dose of music and ideas that occasionally exchanges "freshness" for a too strict originality, and a top sense of playing like artists, more or less achievingly. Of course that their debut can please from moderately upwards, given the kind of prog rock tastes it's addressed to (or a sum of moments that can't shine in any way preciously), maybe it's even the beginning of a deeper career and a mightier impression, but regardless of both scenarios, Lobster Newberg make their step with a refined grip, plus their creativity is on top of things, unconditionally. Working sturdily on instrumentalism, they do interact with the nature of fusion, jam or alternative rock, but their grip on the first is less concrete, while the contemporary taste of the other ones simply opens an explosion of tangs. The vocals are usually much lighter in use, but always follow the path of the main style. Much of the prog rock influences they state are reflected in the music with the bit of incandescence, otherwise a few moments from Vernal Equinox would sound too much as fishy covers: Van der Graaf Generator, King Crimson, Led Zep are hot drives, whilst Zappa's and several others' sway allude where LN's disconnected compass is pointing.

With a intermingled music of art rock, art jam, pure prog and finally simple and clean mainstream drops, Lobster Newberg seriously fill every minute of Vernal Equinox, not at all surprising for a CD recorded session, still influencing on the quality and the dazzle of the music with a nice load of pros and at least one cons: the fragile impression of an overloaded work, by which all the complex and stretched pieces hide somewhere some bugs and cists; more importantly though, Vernal Equinox needs to be expected as a hard-pressed and not so shabby to listen album, otherwise you'll often get the feeling that after just 5 pieces (of a total 11 + 1) it's been already 50 minutes since you started listening. The price for a tough breakthrough seems to be a full experiment of modern, electric, dark, alembicated and progressive rock, the pay-off coming overall "sehr stark". At how lengthy some of the toughest piece are, the 12 minutes Wentworth doesn't even come as an epic contrast anymore, being a late and final bang, plus sounding more weird and simpler before entering some cold improvisations. The album evolves in mostly two parts, the first fill being made of fusion, eclectic pieces, with the instrumental band trying different themes each time - the keyboards alone have a constancy in covering some classic prog rhythms, melodies and atmospheres, while the vocalist is either singing a la Porcupine Tree or modern pop, either jamming with his lyrics, unsourly. The second part of Vernal Equinox tends to be more experimental and nervous, the appearance of mixes and special effects playing a gift-less hardstream.

These being said, Lobster Newberg's debut proves musically, and not just by rumours, that the band has hit a big sweep with its craft and its prog passion. To such a powerful, exciting and much better than the average album, the "rate" can go up a little and reflect the tonic qualities of the music, and afterwards the kind of impression it skinmarks on the listener.

Ricochet | 4/5 |


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