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Pattern-Seeking Animals - Prehensile Tales CD (album) cover


Pattern-Seeking Animals


Crossover Prog

3.67 | 96 ratings

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A Crimson Mellotron
3 stars The second album from Pattern-Seeking Animals is now available for people to enjoy! Turns out the band's promise to release an album a year might be kept, as this is the members' side project. I must say that I was disappointed by the first album - it didn't feel quite complete and I did not spend too much time with it, just to revise it again upon the release of 'Prehensile Tales', and to discover that I still do not enjoy it that much.

Now, about this album: 'Raining Hard in Heaven' opens up with this groovy and super catchy bass line, and continues to unfold in a very poppy way, which is obviously what the band's trying to achieve - to mix accessible sounds with more adventurous song structures. Not sure if I enjoy the chorus as much as the verse. The song goes through an instrumental mid-section that is quite reminiscent of the Spock's Beard releases from the last decade, and this is not bad at all!

Next up on the track list is 'Here in My Autumn'. Which is almost like a logical continuation of the previous track, pretty similar song structure, even the lengths are almost the same. Not a bad track, as well, I must say. The third song is probably my favorite on this album - and so far, my favorite song from the band's catalogue. It is the track that best encapsulates the philosophy and the main idea of P-SA: to write prog-pop numbers with adventurous instrumentation and catchy hooks.

'Elegant Vampires' is undoubtedly the most memorable and enjoyable track for me. Also, so far, the first three tracks were all released as singles which is a bit strange given that the album is just 6 tracks. It is kind of disappointing to know what half of the record sounds like before being released. However, 'Elegant Vampires' is a great track!

Next up is another shorter song ? 'Why Don't We Run'. It sets an interesting mood although it is a bit different from what came before it and from what will come after it. Not too much to say about it, except that it has a more generic sound. Then it comes - the 17-minute 'Lifeboat' - the song that should be teasing prog fans and scaring the ones who turn to P-SA for more accessible songs. Usually, the first question I ask myself when listening to such a large chunk of music is - is it worth the time? Does the song provide the epic feel, the dynamics, the pay-off that one expects from a seventeen-minute piece? Well, in this case, the band really managed to make a really enjoyable song with a couple of surprises throughout, the best of which is the sax that really elevated the song's experience for me. A chunky guitar solo from Leonard was also lovely to hear, a bit of mellotron and violin, too. Great chorus, and intelligent lyrics. Definitely beautiful track that I feel would also fit perfectly in an SB album, if they were to release one this year!

Finally, we arrive at the 12-minute 'Soon but Not Today', the album closer. This song continues the spirit of all the rest that came before it, combining the playful tones of the first three songs in the first six minutes and some 70s symphonic rock melodies in its second half. Another enjoyable one and a proper finish that also leaves an open ending for the band to embrace.

Great vocal performance by Leonard throughout this whole thing, his voice really seems to get better with age, and also really strong backing vocals from Keegan, and a super tasty bass tone from Dave Meros! What is there to say about the instrumentation? The band members are well-known and experienced masters of their instruments, maybe Boegehold's abilities were more unknown but are no less great than the other members'.

'Prehensile Tales' is a much more sonically organized and comprehensive album than its predecessor. This time the band manages to create a sonic experience that is captivating but also enjoyable throughout the whole time.

A Crimson Mellotron | 3/5 |


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