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Paatos - Kallocain CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.63 | 135 ratings

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3 stars Paatos' second effort is sadly a mixed bag of occasional hit and sporadic miss, contrasts are bold between each track. On the alluring side, "Holding On" is where the Portishead similarities really come home, a proggier version of that talented but lazily discreet trip band, where Paatos' Petronella sounds a lot like Beth Gibbons, a heady swirl of dreamy mood scapes, sharp crackling drums, churning atmospherics, clean violin and effective guitar. A chilling and enticing piece this is. "Happiness" is another mellotron draped jewel, mischievously enticing the listener into an eddy of emotion and imbalance, as if floating on uncertain clouds. The fourth slice is the overtly affected but cleverly titled "Absinth Minded", with a huge mellotron cascade that is truly inspiring as it flows gently into the fog. "Won't be Coming Back" is another return to form, a resolute piece where all combine to shine, showing great peaks and valleys, well-oiled rhythms solidly arranged and a healthy dose of inspired musicianship. Excellent stuff! On the looser side, there are a few clunkers such as "Look at Us", a little too alternative-pop for my tastes, wimpy playing and wimpier vocals that are all the rage on national radios,oops I mean Ipods!), annoyingly bland and bleached of any progressive stain. "Reality" is another oddball cut with its primitive almost minimalist punch, boom-tchak boom-tchak drumming, devoid of any interesting symphonic manipulations, sounding like an all-together different band. The singing sucks in my opinion, wholly unconvincing (which BTW Gibbons never was). A weak instrumental break helps little in the final countdown (no, not the Europe mega-drivel hit song), it's also way too long, the repeated blare stretched to the hilt with unfortunate emptiness (unnecessary handclaps. Really!). "Stream" is an unbearable sonic gauze, unable to let the bloody wound of musical weakness heal in peace, though the lumbering 'tron slice is revealing. The guitar parts are not very adroit and the whole thing just plods grossly. The final cut is not very inspired despite its proggy length but it just highlights the fact that this cannot really go beyond a two track marvel, out of nine that's not enough! For Swedish completists or fans of this kind of retro-avant-garde. Not on my Ikea shelf for long! Only occasional visits are recommended. 3 fuzzy novocaines
tszirmay | 3/5 |


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