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Crack The Sky - Crack the Sky CD (album) cover


Crack The Sky


Heavy Prog

3.77 | 76 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars The frankly non-existent sub-genre of danceable prog seemingly begins and ends with the brazen American outfit Crack The Sky, a short-lived group who somehow fused a funky art-pop sensibility onto their furiously-inventive pop-prog melodies - and got away it. Featuring some wonderfully sharp lyrical observations, impressive musical interplay and some rather un- proggishly short songs, this quirky group's 1975 debut is living proof that there really was an artful side lurking beyond the limited confines of the mid-seventies American prog scene, a scene dominated by a handful of once-decent groups - Journey, Styx, Starcastle, Kansas - who nonetheless all managed to eventually adhere to the commercially-viable, stadium-rock sized aspirations of the cynical record company executives who controlled the purse strings. Crack The Sky, it seems, were the eccentric exceptions that prove this rule. Very much a product of the 1970's but sounding like they both: a) belonged to the eighties and: b) had been piping a certain drug found in their name, this was a group who sought to add a touch of hysterically campy new-wave glamour to proceedings, blending the high-brow creativity of groups like Yes and Genesis with the playful pazzaz of David Bowie, Roxy Music et al. It doesn't always work - sometimes the group overcook their formula to the point of silliness - yet when they do click, as on tunes such as the wonderfully absurd 'She's A Dancer', Crack The Sky really show their bones. Pity, then, that the five-piece are unable to fill-out an entire album with nuggets like these, as much of this debut album is divided between either the inspired or the insipid. Tracks like 'Surf City' seem half-formed, yet on the other end of the scale you'll find complex witticisms adorning tricksy time-signatures in almost perfect harmony, the excessively energetic 'I Don't Have A Tie' a testament to Crack The Sky's indulgent style. That said, this a very singular release, and at times the music defies labelling, a sure signifier of true progressive instincts. An uneven first try then, but this nicely ironic debut is just as technically enthralling as anything by your more serious-minded groups, and it's a genuine relief to find actual humour in the progressive rock genre that doesn't rely on the surreal or the fantastical. To put it mildly: you ain't heard anything quite like this before. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012
stefro | 3/5 |


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