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5uu's - Crisis in Clay CD (album) cover





3.72 | 56 ratings

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5 stars Along with Anglagärd's "Epilog", "Crisis in Clay" stands for me as a major input in the progressive history. Well, the first has nothing to do with the second, but then again, the gap between the two shows how wide is the range of the progressive grammary. I'm not going to do an historical point of view of the band here ; let's just say that "Crisis in Clay" represents the second and final chapter of the second era wich showcases the talent of leader drummer Dave Kerman, with the addition of the underesteemated Sanjay Kumar and the incredible Bob Drake, maybe one of the strongest personality in progressive alternative music in these last fifteen years. What will follow has not (yet) reached the same potential level. Because the main quality of this album is to be at the same time profoundly complex and overtly fun to listen (at least if you suffer from schizophrenia).

Those three guys came up with something totally unique and strange. Strange because, in many points in the album, there is strong echoes to the work of Yes. First, the way Drake sings is very disturbing and so close to Anderson's while being completely out of this world. Secondly, he assumes both guitar and bass playing, and in the course of the album, you will encounter numerous key moment where you'll be swearing to hear Steve Howe or Chris Squire (the monstruous bass line of "Willful Suspension of Disbelief"). Take "Bought the Farm" for instance. This one represents a great summary of all you're going to hear on this near an hour album ; counterpoints, complex and ever changing rhythm pattern, harmonically sophisticated melody, heavy atmosphere leaded by percussive elements and ghostly guitar part, not unlike Yes' "The Ancient", and most of all, great inventivity, what lacks the most in the progressive genre nowadays. This late surely must be credited to Bob Drake, once again, whose raw production is absolutely flawless, and plays with every sound elements to put the music upfront.

To conclude here, well, the better thing i might say about this outstanding album to tickle your curiosity is maybe that 5 UU'S achieved the masterpiece Yes could have done if Anderson, Squire and co. were all retired in a madhouse after digesting too much LSD.

progmonster | 5/5 |


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