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C Sides - Purple Hearts Corner CD (album) cover


C Sides


Crossover Prog

3.48 | 6 ratings

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Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
3 stars The C Sides Project, originally known as just "C Sides", was founded in the early 2010s from 3 ex-members from "Magneta". In February of 2020, they released their fourth full length album called "Purple Hearts Corner". Two of the original founders, Martin Rosser (guitar) and Allan Mason-Jones (drums, percussion) are still with the band who is also made up of Allen McCarthy (vocals, bass), Sian Elson (additional vocals), and Kevin Dawson (keyboards, piano).

This album is made up of 5 fairly long tracks, and follows their usual sound (as of late) of a light progressive sound that sits somewhere between Neo-prog and Crossover Prog. You'll definitely get that impression with their first track "Fields" which tends to follow a main thematic element that doesn't veer to far away from its main melody. It's good music, but doesn't seem to offer much in the way of groundbreaking and doesn't try to challenge the listener too extensively. "Into Clouds" shows a bit more ingenuity with a nice piano solo introduction which finally brings in a more progressive theme after 3 minutes, utilizing a start/stop section that builds up a bit of excitement. The music is interesting, but tends to get bogged down in its efforts to present a progressive idea. The guitar finally gets to settle things into a more straightforward rhythm, though with a bit of complexity to it, but now it tends to lose a little steam as it utilizes a boring, ascending riff that finally brings in vocals around 6 minutes. Unfortunately, the lead singer sounds a bit bored, and adding in layered vocals doesn't help. Real excitement doesn't really appear until deep into the track as things intensify a bit more both in the vocals and the instrumental fills.

After some lack-luster sound effects, "Bremen" kicks in with a Rush-like guitar riff, starting and stopping to build anticipation for something better, but this doesn't really materialize as the music can't carry the excitement, then the sleepy vocals start again. McCarthy is trying to get a bit of a gruff sound as he sings, but it just ends up sounding tired instead of energetic, and the music tries, but can't quite carry the excitement that they seem to want to convey. After that, the synth tries to liven up the party, but it is just too little, too late.

The style doesn't change too much in the other two tracks, the music just sounds tired. I understand the inclusion of an additional vocalist who actually sings behind the lead vocalist a lot, and that was probably to add a little bit of life to it all, but she is pushed to the back. Maybe they should let her sing out front more often to give things more life. This is especially important since the songs are driven a lot by the lyrics. Yes there are some progressive elements in there, but they almost sound worn out.

Some might find some interest in this music, but I can't get over the sleepy, or lackadaisical feel of the main vocalists delivery. The instrumentalists try to pull it off by throwing interesting riffs and solos, but the enthusiasm just isn't there. However, its not a complete wash here, there is some promise in the music from time to time, but you would think with the experience the founders of the band have had that they would have a much better effort here. The sound of this album just doesn't give me the desire to investigate the band any further. 3 stars.

TCat | 3/5 |


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