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Skin Alley - Skin Alley CD (album) cover

SKIN ALLEY

Skin Alley

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.72 | 36 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars John Peel apparently discovered these guys playing live somewhere and invited them to do a live gig on his show. I really like their sound with the vocals, organ and flute all being for the most part warm and nostalgic for me. A sort of melancholy too bringing CAMEL to mind at times. Two of the guys play mellotron although it's only featured on two tracks. A four piece with sax and harpsichord also in play. There are five really good tracks on here and the only two I'm not into amount to less than 3 minutes so a very solid 4 star album in my books.

"Living In Sin" is an excellent opener and the lyrics from a bye gone day talking about "sin" which is usually boasted about these days and a non-issue. Pulsating bass with a beat and flute as vocals and organ join in. A CAMEL vibe here and the guitar arrives before 1 1/2 minutes. It comes to the fore around 2 minutes as the vocals step aside. Sax replaces the guitar before 3 1/2 minutes some nice prominent bass too. Flute and that earlier sound with vocals returning late.

"Tell Me Why" is my favourite. It's melancholic with picked guitar, mellotron and sad vocals to start. The chorus is meaningful and moving with 60's sounding harmonies. Pulsating organ before 3 minutes during an instrumental section. Just a killer tune. "Mother Please Help Your Child" has meaningful lyrics and after a dramatic intro it settles right down with flute as reserved vocals join in and solemn organ. It turns fuller 1 1/2 minutes in with passionate vocals. The chorus is downright sad then themes are repeated. Some powerful lyrics here.

"Marsha" obviously a Brady Bunch reference(kidding) is an excellent almost 7 1/2 minute instrumental. Love this organ led tune as bass and drums standout as well early on. Sax before 3 minutes as the organ steps aside but it's back before 5 minutes replacing the sax. The sax is back a minute later but the organ continues this time pulsating powerfully before settling back. "Country Aire" has this fairy sounding flute with harpsichord. So not my thing(haha). It's better a minute in though when the drums, bass and more arrive. "All Alone" has relaxed organ to start as bass and drums join in, sax too then reserved vocals. Very laid back then it's fuller after 2 minutes but it settles back quickly. A sax solo follows then organ as it stays laid back. Vocals are back before 6 minutes then it turns fuller with sax after 7 minutes but again it's brief. "Night Time" opens with flute, drums and bass then it kicks in quickly with mellotron too. Nice. Vocals just before a minute. Back to that opening theme and I just love the sound of this one. Some rare piano 2 1/2 minutes in.

"Concerto Grosso(Take Heed)" is but 26 seconds of harpsichord. "(Going Down The)Highway" has a catchy rhythm and is blues flavoured with pulsating organ and vocals. Sax 1 1/2 minutes in as the vocals step aside then the organ takes over. Vocals return but this isn't one of my favs.

Kind of a weird cover not representing the music in any way. I guess they thought it was funny. Anyway the music here is quite amazing for the most part, just a big fan of their sound and easily 4 stars for this one.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |

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