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The Winstons - The Winstons CD (album) cover


The Winstons


Canterbury Scene

3.91 | 123 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
5 stars THE WINSTONS for me have been a breath of fresh air in 2016. These three Italians share a love for Canterbury and late sixties psychedelia and have created an album that honours these styles of music. I have to say I wondered if this would be a paint by numbers record but man, not even close. By "paint by numbers" I mean trying to make an album that ticks the right boxes but not really knowing and loving the music like I felt Todd Rundgren did with his UTOPIA project that really felt to me like he was just trying to jump on the band-wagon. THE WINSTONS have really captured that Canterbury spirit I'll say that, and it's easy to tell they love this type of music because of the lengths they went to do it right. The little nods to certain bands and albums really brought me joy.

The cover art certainly conveys that joy and it was done by Japanese artist Gun Kawamura and it's so surreal along with the other art work that comes with this album. Oh, and Gun also wrote the lyrics to two tracks and THE WINSTONS actually sing those two tracks in Japanese! Love the distorted organ and keys, so good! Back to the band, these three multi-instrumentalists/ vocalists are well known in Italy's Indie scene playing in different bands yet touring across Italy with each other doing a series of concerts with their respective bands. These guys are long time close friends who I think have played their share of Canterbury and Psychedelic records.

"Nicotine Freak" is infectious to say the least. The focus is on the multi-vocals to start, some organ as well. A horn joins in before 1 1/2 minutes as the vocals step aside until before 2 minutes then it kicks in with a fairly heavy beat and pulsating organ. Man this sounds incredible! The vocals join in with harmonies. I love this track. "(Diprotodon)" is the first track with the Japanese lyrics. I like the melancholic organ/ drum intro as the vocals and horns kick in. The vocals do stop as the organ solos before 1 1/2 minutes and the drums continue but not for long as the horns and vocals return. A change before 2 1/2 minutes as the drums, bass and horns lead the way. The vocals and horns are back. "Play With The Rebels" opens with flute and man I'm in heaven right here as the bass and drums help out then the reserved vocals join in. The chorus is more powerful and quite uplifting as contrasts continue. I like the pulsating organ before 2 1/2 minutes.

"...On A Dark Cloud" opens with organ and atmosphere then it starts to pick up some, trumpet here too. I like this a lot. The vocals join in after 2 1/2 minutes sounding very Robert Wyatt-like. It then drifts off with organ, horn, a beat and vocal melodies as this is all repeated over and over. Nice. It then starts to wind down before we get a 1 1/2 minute instrumental to end it. The ending by the way is really cool as we get this excellent instrumental display including organ, flute, piano and drums. "She's My Face" has pulsating organ as bass, horns and a beat join in then vocals. So 60's sounding. Love it! We get a calm before 2 minutes with organ, vocals and more. A scream after 2 1/2 minutes as it kicks back in without vocals this time. Check out the guitar after 3 minutes! It then kicks back in with vocals.

"A Reason For Goodbye" is a fairly relaxed tune with vocals that come and go and more. Horns lead before 1 1/2 minutes as the they join in this instrumental section. The tempo starts to pickup and the horns blast before 2 1/2 minutes. Check out the electric piano, bass and driving beat that follows. The vocals return at 4 minutes then they stop as it gets fairly heavy with horns. "Dancing In The Park With A Gun"is such an uplifting and feel-good tune with those whimsical vocals and sound. A change before 2 minutes though as it changes completely to an experimental sound then this urgent rhythm takes over. It's experimental again when the rhythm stops at 3 1/2 minutes. It's spacey and insane at the same time. A melody is back at 4 1/2 minutes as the drums, electric piano, bass, and horns lead the way until the end.

"Viaggio Nel Suono A Tre Dimensioni" opens with sampled spoken words in Italian before this surprisingly heavy guitar kicks in then a full sound with pulsating organ. The organ starts to light it up then it all stops around 3 minutes as the sampled spoken words return. Dogs are barking along with many strange and experimental sounds. "Tarmac" is slow moving with melancholic piano and a repetitive but slow beat. Vocals are mournful bringing Wyatt to mind. It ends with floating organ and a beat. "Number, Number" is the final track and the other song with Japanese lyrics. There's lots of depth with organ over the top as multi-vocals join in and they are relaxed. A bass horn joins in as well. It turns uplifting before 2 minutes with vocals then the tempo picks up around 3 1/2 minutes, piano as well.

THE WINSTONS did something really special here in my opinion. I think it's funny that these three guys go by the pseudonyms of Linnon Winston, Enro Winston and Rob Winston. They certainly are brothers when it comes to music.

Mellotron Storm | 5/5 |


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