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Crack The Sky - Animal Notes CD (album) cover


Crack The Sky


Heavy Prog

3.48 | 43 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Starmen?

Without wishing to appear to be judging a book by its cover, one look at the band image on the reverse of "Animal notes" does tend to confirm that Crack the Sky did not have any real prog ambitions. The smart outfits and long permed hair identify the band far more readily with the hairspray AOR of their American peers such as Styx and Boston.

With that in mind when listening to this the band's second album, this is nevertheless an album of good quality songs which go beyond being mere pop affairs. All the tracks are composed by vocalist John Palumbo, who ensures that he is given plenty of opportunity to display his talents, the twin lead guitar of Jim Griffiths and Rick Witkowski sharing the remaining limelight when it becomes available.

The four tracks on side one of the album are pretty standard pop rock affairs including the obligatory ballad "Maybe I can fool everybody tonight". The verse chorus structure which prevails offers little real opportunity for development of the songs beyond the inclusion of a brief guitar workout. The musicianship is of a consistently high quality, but we search in vain on side one for a standout track to give the album an identity.

Side two opens with the most ambitious track, "Rangers at midnight". This mini-suite in three parts (or "scenes") which runs to 7 minutes, sets out with the southern rock feel of bands such as The Band and Little Feat. The transition to Scene 2 ("Night patrol") offers an intriguing instrumental section which could have been further developed. The final section, "Let's lift our hearts up" becomes a raucous barroom sing-a-long.

"Invaders from Mars" is the oddest track, lyrically at least. The song appears to be a sort of Bowie tribute (or parody perhaps), both lyrically and in terms of the sound and style.

In all, a proficient but largely ordinary album. While the songs are well written and performed, they lack the spark which is needed to make the album worthy of recommendation. In prog terms, "Animal notes" sits very much on the periphery.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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