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Perhaps - Volume One CD (album) cover

VOLUME ONE

Perhaps

 

Post Rock/Math rock

3.96 | 108 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

HolyMoly
Special Collaborator
Retired Admin
4 stars Normally, I try to let an album sink in for a while (sometimes up to a year) before I attempt a review. In this case, however, I think it's important to help get the word out about this band and album, and after two close listens I already have plenty to say about it. In a sense, this album seems designed to deliver all the requisite prog thrills that true prog fans look for in an album. As a 38 minute epic, it's done with such unbridled glee and energy that it never comes across as calculated or cynical. It's the album a lot of us have probably dreamed about making, if we only had the talent!

The album's intro is a clear tip of the hat to the tried and true "Close to the Edge" and "Tarkus" school of epic intros. Slowly building synth chords followed by a chaotic, rocking guitar/bass/drums section that should be very familiar to prog fans. It rocks, AND it has the band playfully hitting rhythmically tricky unison parts together. The melodies on guitar are sometimes reminiscent of the classical fanfare themes you might hear from ELP, but sounding more like Guapo, or Yes at their most aggressive (think Gates of Delirium here). Having played out this theme for a while, the band deftly shifts into a new section, led by saxophone. The core trio of guitar/bass/drums keeps the energy coming, pushing the sax player into increasingly frenetic territory. The band then moves into another tricky, mathy section. So far, we're about 15 minutes into the piece, and it's stayed consistently interesting and energetic. A good sign.

In general, one of the hazards of purely instrumental, elongated songs is the danger of inaccessibility. Oftentimes, I find myself saying, "gee that must have been hard to play", or "gee, that was complex", without really having any emotional attachment to the music. Sometimes you just need a narrative, a voice, a story, to hang your hat on. Given that potential pitfall for pieces like this, I was surprised at how engaged I was throughout the piece. I can't say I was ever blown away, but I was entertained. They keep it fresh and keep the ideas coming. I can't help but think I would have liked it even more if it had had more of a narrative element, but don't take that as a complaint.

But it's not all furious instrumental craziness. At around the 20 minute mark, suddenly we're in space groove territory, with a Gong/Guru Guru like bass line providing the foundation for a (why not?) modulated trumpet solo. As with the sax solo, the band keeps pushing the soloist to new heights of intensity, and the guitar player starts going bananas with echoey glissando madness, the point at which I said out loud, "Guru Guru! Cool!".

With the intensity built up to a feverish level, the band finally comes crashing down to Earth, letting the tones ring out for a while before gently coming back to provide a string-laden emotional conclusion to the piece. I couldn't tell if it was real strings or a string synth doing a Mellotron impression, but the album has some string players credited, so that may be them, though I did hear strings on prior sections too. This Saucerful-ish emotional closing section puts a neat cap on the piece, a feeling of resolution and closure. Nice.

An excellent work that has a little bit for everybody: Space Rock, Math Rock, Krautrock, Crimson-like prog, and even a little bit of Symphonic in there. It may be a bit too much to swallow for fans not accustomed to long instrumentals, but hop on the bus and see where it takes you.

HolyMoly | 4/5 |

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