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IN THE CAN

Flash

Eclectic Prog


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Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
3 stars Obviously upset that Supertramp dared the bare-chest artwork on their Indelibly Stamped album, Flash decided to choose a slightly less tackier breast artwork, well in line with the just as tacky panty artwork of their debut album. Musically this album is much in the logical Yessian musical evolution, despite deeply missing the lack of organ and other keyboards of Tony Kaye, gone to found Badger (you may want to check that first album, before checking this one out). The other four members soldiered on courageously and managed a fairly good second album, despite Kaye's absence, but shared fairly evenly the songwriting, Banks (the so-called founder) only sharing one credit, while bassist Bennett taking 2.5.

As you can expect, the Flash soundscape changed direction a fair bit and this album is very guitar-oriented, but it's also shamelessly ogling at Banks' (and Kaye's) ex-colleagues' now successful works. It is actually a wonder that they resisted asking Roger Dean to work for them. Indeed, the group uses every Yes tricks in the book and manages not to be ridiculous, despite Bank's obvious frustrations of getting the boot before hitting the big times and trying to prove he could get the job done. What I mean here is that Flash's first two albums sound much more like Fragile or Yes album, than Time And A Word, when both Banks and Kaye where still both in Yes.

The opening 10-mins Lifetime has a definite Roundabout edge, at least when not considering the songwriter Colin Carter's vocals, but if you go past his voice, you'll find a Squire and Bruford-like rhythm (but obviously not as perfect) and a Steve Howe electric guitar style that Banks didn't have before starting this group. You'll easily guess that the short Stop That Banging is drummer Mike Hough-penned and is a drum pieces, but not even close to Bruford's piece on Fragile. Bennett's Monday Morning Eyes does stick out as being a little less derivative with an usual opening guitar line, but it's quite average, IMHO. The album's centerpiece is the 12-mins Black And White track, which definitely shows the gap between the master and the pupil. While still a decent track with plenty of Yes-born breaks and counterbreaks, it is at time laborious (even arduous) and sounds forced, especially when it comes to Carter's vocals; and in the middle section, the groups gets almost lost in their own backyard and Banks' use of the ARP Synth sounds like a soup-mixer. The closing and aptly-titled No More There (I know ;o))) will finish tiring your eardrums with Yessongs without having Anderson's voice in it, despite being the most ambitious track of the album.

I wonder how many copies Flash sold their albums solely because of the cover. As Tony Kaye moved on to Badger (investigate this also, as the debut is very worthy), Peter Banks finds himself alone at the commands (at the controls of an ARP that he doesn't), and here there are 10 min + numbers that try a little too hard at sounding like major league prog ala Yessauce. Still all Flash albums are worth a spin and an attentive listen, but despite the derivative music, it should please most Yes fans, much more than Druid or Starcastle. I never bothered to fill a cassette or a CD-R to make my usual compilation, though. My rating is more or less a 90 B.

Report this review (#25298)
Posted Tuesday, February 17, 2004 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Going on as a quartet after Kaye's departure, Flash had the chance to develop their rocky side a bit further, which they did in their sophomore album "In the Can". It sure allowed them to grasp a major amount of energy in their performances, which is basically the most prominent asset of this album - not only do Banks' solos and riffs sound more potent, but there also a more fiery bass playing by Bennett and a tighter drumming by Hough. Carter continues to deliver his lines with confidence and enthusiasm. On the other hand, though, it seems very clear that the band's sonic pallet feels incomplete without the input of a permanent keyboard player. That's a relevant inconvenient indeed, since the long compositions could have benefited from the addition of keyboard layers and solos: instead, the lack of organ, piano, mellotron and a more recurrent synth (Banks himself plays some occasional ARP) stops the repertoire from developing the potential orchestral feel and aborts any chance of enhancing the splendour alluded by the complex compositions and mood shifts. The high and low points that I've just mentioned are perfectly incarnated in 'Black and White' and in the closure 'There No More' (my two personal faves from the album), which are quite impressive but could have been raised up to an epic level had the instrumentation been augmented. Just by listening to any Yes or Genesis recording you can tell that keyboards are a crucial element in the framework of symphonic prog: that's why it is such a pity that the sonic potential remains underused. Thank God that Banks and co. are accomplished musicians, and as I stated before, find themselves at the top of their energetic capacity. The other long track is 'Lifetime', which kicks off the album with an uplifting vibe, and then 'Monday Morning Eyes' keeps things that way, only adding a slight touch of R'n'B and an enhanced jazz undertone. Track 4 is just a brief drum-and- percussion jam stuck between the magnificent log tracks I commented on earlier. All in all, my overall balance is positive: I enjoy "In the Can" more than the debut album considering the level of musical energy displayed in it, while I enjoy it less regarding the instrumental ensemble, so it all comes down to this - I enjoy this album as much as the previous one but for different reasons.
Report this review (#25299)
Posted Monday, February 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
Carl floyd fan
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars I have found many gems here on prog archives (just look for me in reviews across the site) but it looks like those days of finding the diamonds in the rough have come to an end. I am reaching the end of what this site can offer me and it isn't pretty. This is uninspired and rather boring sounding. I can' imagine much passion went into making this cd..in fact I would be suprised if the band memeber were able to stay awake for the duration. there are moments that show potential, mainly the instrumental passages at the beginning, but the vocals are terrible and the cd just lacks any feeling. avoid unless you are ahuge YES fan looking for a smilar band. In fact I hate to use the term, but these guys are sort of a YES knock offs...and I know there is a member or two of YES on this album..but there is no orginality here.
Report this review (#39420)
Posted Thursday, July 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
pierrewawrzyn
4 stars i don't agree with two stars rating for IN THE CAN. Peter Banks was Yes first guitarist(for the two first albums). listening to 'Yes' and 'Time and Words', we can denote that yes was really colored by his sound (really diiferent from Steve Howe's one). Banks has a rock-and- jazzy style. When Steve Howe came Yes changed : they became more cosmic (lyrics...). FLASH ISN'T A YES LIKE BUT THE NEXT STEP OF PETER BANK'S WORK. In my opinion he's a fabulous guitarist playing with his heart and devellopping his original ideas! In LIFETIME (first track), there is a fabulous jazz part were he proves us what his able to do. he brought to yes two first albums a real jazzy touch. vocals are really jazzy too and powerfull. The end of BLACK AND WHITE with his fabulous guitar solo made my heart explode. The only thing is that compared to yes's ones, the sound and the look arne't really clean and well studied. But there is so much heart and ideas that i willtake the risk to say that FLASH must be reconsidered in the 70's prog scene. the four stars are due to the end of THERE'S NO MORE, i find it really cyclic and less inspired than the rest of this brilliant album. I hope you will try it.
Report this review (#40510)
Posted Wednesday, July 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
Progbear
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars A very curious album: sympho-prog without keys. This is essentially the next step forward after the band's pleasant but ultimately somewhat unengaging debut. Musically, it's a lot more self-assured. While the longer tracks of the debut tended to meander a bit, "Lifetime", "Black And White" and "There No More" are fairly bursting with forward momentum, blazing energy and melodic invention. Even Colin Carter seems to have gone up a level. His voice, while nice enough on the first album, never really went over very strong. Here he shows quite a bit of conviction.

Save for the (mercifully) brief solo percussion piece "Stop That Banging", Banks' guitar is basically the whole show here. And while at times his style is a tad too close to Howe's for comfort (spicing up several songs with riffs that sound like variations on Howe's "Yours Is No Disgrace" hook), he makes up for it by being constantly compelling. He seems to be aiming at filling up the space with a big guitar sound, making sure you don't miss the keyboards, at the same time making sure you won't mistake this for a Black Sabbath album. This is not hard-rock. This is guitar-oriented epic prog. Essentially: Yes minus keys.

Report this review (#45527)
Posted Monday, September 5, 2005 | Review Permalink
Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This second FLASH`s album was recorded as a quartet. Keyboard player Tony Kaye, who never was an official member of the band and who was only a guest on their first album, didn`t participate in this album and went to form his own band called BADGER. So, this album has a lot of guitars and very few parts on which Peter Banks plays the ARP synthesizer.

I think that it is unfair to underrate Peter Banks as a guitarist, because in this album he also shows that he is a very good guitarist with his very own style. Bassist Ray Bennett, who also was the main composer of the songs in this album, also shows that he is a very good bassist, and there are some similarities between his sytle of playing the bass with the styles of John Entwistle and Chris Squire. Singer Colin Carter is also good, and there are some very good vocals arrangements done with Banks and Bennett. Drummer Michael Hough is a more "Rocker" drummer, but he also plays some interesting things.

"Lifetime" and "Monday Morning Eyes" are, IMO, the best songs in this album. I think that FLASH deserves more respect as a band, because this album, despite the lack of a keyboard player, shows them as a very good Progressive Rock band.

Report this review (#82255)
Posted Thursday, June 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Desperately trying to capitalize on the progressive explosion of the 1970s, Flash did their best to impress on this second effort, 'In the Can'. An opus of sorts, the material has its moments but never quite takes off, which is a shame because it could have been really good. Between the Ethel Merman vocals of Colin Carter and the Rickenbacker Squire-isms of Ray Bennett, we feel as if we're hearing what Yes in its prime left on the studio floor.

Tracks 3, 4 and 5 (originally the second side) are an improvement over the first half of the record, with longer pieces firmly ensconced in early British symphonic rock and splashes of paisley and patchouli laced throughout, though the gratuitous Yes influence is most prominent here and only tends to remind of this outfit's shortcomings. The production is disappointing as well, inexplicably sounding as if the sessions were recorded in a large aluminum silo.

Neither important nor inspired, Flash's 'In the Can' is indeed a flash in the pan.

Report this review (#116837)
Posted Friday, March 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars I won't consider this a masterpiece, but it's still quite an enjoyable album and, in my opinion, better that their debut. Some complain about lack of keyboards... but are they really necessary to make good music (what would you say, then, about "Argus" by the Wishbone Ash?)? The opening title here would deserve five stars: it may remind Yes rendering of "America", but here the band displays a colourful personality, straight and extremely dynamic - and dynamic is an adjective you wouldn't use for many bands inside prog rock. Guitar solos are very tasty and they match perfectly with vocals and the rythm section. "Monday Morning Eyes" has a strange 1960s flare, or al least gives me that impression, while in "Black and White" it's possible to find good numbers, but they do not blend together so well. Finally, "There's no more" begins with the missing riff in Robert Fripp's production, then evolves into another lengthy and a little patchy track, but this time quite surprising in its shifts and featuring an impressive ending. Three stars are, IMO, an overall fair rating for this album.
Report this review (#117600)
Posted Saturday, April 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Founded by ex-Yes guitarist Peter Banks, Flash showed how Yes also could have become, if Banks hadn't been replaced by Steve Howe (and Tony Kaye by Rick Wakeman). (See my review about their first album, 'Flash'.) The music has a more ballad-like atmosphere, Colin Carter is no Jon Anderson, and Peter Banks has a more jazzy style. On 'In the Can', Tony Kaye (also fired from Yes after two albums!) isn't contributing anymore (on their first album he appeared as a guest!), and that makes this album a keyboardless alternative for Yes, dominated by Banks' great guitar playing. Like my collegue Progbear said: guitar-oriented epic prog, or Yes minus keyboards.
Report this review (#126708)
Posted Sunday, June 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars Addition by subtraction.

Without keyboardist Tony Kaye, Peter Banks has to work harder on his guitar to fill out the songs than he did on the debut album. The songs, on the whole sound a little more consistantly progressive than on the first album.

There are three epics here, each over ten minutes long, and all three are better than two of the three on the first album. Lifetime, despite having an awkward rhythm and mood change in the middle, has some very nice guitar playing by Banks, including some obvious quotes from other artists known here. Black And White is a good prog song, but has some questionable lyrics. And There No More is the best of the lot, possibly the best song on all of Flash's albums.

A solid three stars.

Report this review (#245649)
Posted Thursday, October 22, 2009 | Review Permalink
SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
2 stars Stop that banging!

In The Can is Flash's second album out of three, but it was the last one to reach my ears. The reason for that is that this second album seems to be harder to get hold of now compared to the other two. This is because the debut (self-titled) and the third album (Out Of Our Hands) have been re-released together on a two-on-one CD, fairly recently. I often wondered before why they chose to release the debut and the third album together like that, passing over the present album. However, I now understand why - this album is simply a bit less good than the other two and a disappointment after the very good debut.

For this second album Tony Kaye had moved on, so the presence of keyboards on this album is weaker. However, there are some keyboards here played by guitarist Peter Banks. After Kaye's departure, Banks was now the only ex-Yes member of the band. As I said in my review of Flash's debut, that album held up very well in comparison with the two first Yes albums and early Symphonic Prog in general. But while Yes moved on to create fantastic and mind blowing masterpieces like The Yes Album, Fragile and Close To The Edge, Flash were pretty much stuck in the Time And A Word-era. This is not necessarily a problem though, and I do think that they managed to sound fresh and interesting on their first album. On this follow up, on the other hand, it feels like they are mostly going through the motions. The style is basically the same as on the debut, but the passion seems to be somewhat lost.

The most urgent problem, however, is the lack of memorable melodies. The debut album was strong in that department and I can now, off the top of my head, recall the melodies and riffs of Children Of The Universe, Small Beginnings and Dreams Of Heaven, while I don't remember any of the songs from the present album, even though I just heard it! Also, while the third album tried out something new, this second sounds just like a bleak copy of the debut. Don't get me wrong though, this is not a bad album by any means and those who liked the debut (myself included) will certainly find something to enjoy here too. But this adds nothing to it, they said everything they had to say on the previous album.

I can recommend this album only to those who has already enjoyed the other two Flash albums (particularly the very good debut). And since these other two albums are conveniently available together now on a single CD that is an excellent addition to a Prog collection, this standalone album is only recommended for fans and collectors of everything Yes related (again, myself included).

Report this review (#259558)
Posted Wednesday, January 6, 2010 | Review Permalink
b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Second album of Flash from same year 1972 named In the can is my fav from this band, here they found their sound, even in places is without keys. A very solid album in my opinion, one of the best from early '70's, pieces like Lifetime or Black and white are brilliant example of Flash greatness ideas and solid musicianship. I like very much Carter's voice, really keeping the same level with the rest. From up tempo arrangements to a more mellow ones, this second offer is a great album to be discoverd from Flash catalogue, better then both , first and last albums, with more catchy moments and brilliant songwritting. Even the Yes influences are still obvious, Flash manage not to become a copy paste band of the monster Yes, they developed a more edged progressive rock, without to many symphonic moments but catchy and well done. I will give 4 stars to this album, my fav Flash album and one of my fav albums ever, again I'm in minority here, giving such high rate, but I realy like it a lot. recommended.
Report this review (#265156)
Posted Wednesday, February 10, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars I first heard this album at a USO in Washington, D.C. back in march of 1973. I immediately loved the music. Later I found out that the guitarist was a former Yes band member, by the name of Peter Banks. This made it even better! I was thinking that I could get 2 yes albums per year instead of one. The major difference was lack of keyboards, which I thought was ingenious. This was the major difference to me between Yes and Flash. I was glad that a prog band was finally getting away from depending on keys to fill out their sound. This band was a refreshing change. I felt that prog should be going that way anyway. This was where I believed prog was heading and I wanted to go along.

Peter Banks is a top notch jazz player. He just sounds so good and creative on this record. Especially on "Black and White." Any prog head should love all the ideas running round in this tune. His guitar sound is innovative and he makes great use of special effects to make this original sounding and fresh. I believe that "Stop that Banging" and "There no More" are connected. I wished that the band would have went ahead and connected "Black and White" to it. This would have made a nice epic tune that would have exceeded 23 minutes in length.

On the top of things, "Lifetime" is more of a jam number than it is prog, but it does have it moments. It is well worth listening to regardless. Peter is playing his heart out and it is very polished. He does some of his best soloing on this. The jazz element really comes out. One thing that struck me on this song was a riff that Peter did in the middle of his solo. It is exactly the same as the riff Focus used on "Hocus Pocus." I have always wondered if he copped it from them or they got it from listening to Flash. If anyone knows for sure drop me a line.

I have got to say that "Monday Morning eyes" is just beautiful. Especially the last part where Peter goes wild with some excellent jazz guitar. You have to hear it to really appreciate how great his touch is.

There is nothing weak on the record and it is very interesting to listen to. Let me add that you have to get use to the Colin Carter's voice. It is somewhat harsh. I would compare his voice to the singer on Quiet Riot, though not quite as harsh. Also, the only thing I didn't care for was that side one was only 15 minutes in length. I wished it would have been about the same length as side two.

I consider this music to be essential to prog because of the decided absence of the keyboards. Like I previously mentioned, This is a strong release, but because of the fret hand tap and other current techniques for guitar, Peter does sound a little dated. At any rate, I am giving this 5 stars.

Report this review (#275966)
Posted Friday, April 2, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Flash under the leadership of erstwhile Yes guitarist Peter Banks were always going to suffer comparisons with Jon Anderson and his latest line-up of merry men, but Flash make the comparisons pretty easy. It's almost as if the simpler more concise side of Yes went with Peter Banks when he was ousted from the group, and on hearing this one wonders if he maybe took a little TOO much. The Rickenbacker Bass style easily recalls Chris Squire's approach and sound, and indeed the kit itself also sounds uncannily familiar.

With hindsight of course, this makes a fascinating alternative to listening to Yes' debut and Time and a Word and it's most welcome to find out what Peter Banks did next in pursuit of his owm nusical vision. This is the second of three Flash albums and his guitar motifs are instantly identifiable throughout the five main compositions here. The album plays well as a whole and never fails to entertain and surprise, and as well as the obvious influence of Banks' previous band, there are indications that Fripp was on his turntable a fair bit too, there are spacious jazzy interludes which come straight out of the gentler side of King Crimson.

The album gamely struggles to escape the shadow of Yes, but when enjoyed for what it is, comes across well nevertheless. There are times when the arrangements come very close stylistically to many moments on `Time and a Word' but this is no bad thing, Banks had as much right as anyone else to take these elements and work with with them.

The playing is never too (ahem) flash, but instead sticks to tight extended compositions, with well sung vocal passages and dextrous instrumental breaks, as the opening ten minute tour de force `Lifetime' ably demonstrates. There's plenty of light and shade here and a good standard is maintained throught the album. This is good stuff, and easily worthy of your immediate attention if you are a Yes fan or enjoy investigating the unsung heroes of the early 70's.

Newly reissued by Esoteric (2010) and sounding better then ever.

Report this review (#291314)
Posted Wednesday, July 21, 2010 | Review Permalink
Matti
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Oh well, my collaborator page says I've given this a rating without a review, which I at least never intended to do! So in order to straighten things up here's a review. Ex-Yes guitarist Peter Banks chose to continue his band without keyboards, though he later admitted having sometimes missed Tony Kaye's participation. He claimed to be able to do it all with his guitar. Certainly a gifted axeman he is too. Anyway, this continues in the same vein as Flash released earlier the same year. Perhaps this should have had a 'hit' as the debut's 'Small Beginnings', but overall it really can't be said that the compositions are weaker and less memorable this time - because they were quite unmemorable to begin with. Both have an emphasis on technical skill and as such are fairly good if unmemorable listening all the way, this slightly less interesting due to the lack of keyboards. Moreover, I don't much enjoy the drum solo 'Stop That Banging'.

Hipgnosis used female bodies in the cover art of the trilogy of Flash albums, first butt, then breast. I'm not blaming the (admittedly cheap) idea itself, but these are clearly among the worst by that team best known for Pink Floyd covers. The music is guitar oriented symphonic prog, three tracks longer than 10 minutes. The early Yes is naturally one comparison, but unfortunately there's none of the fresh gorgeousness of tracks such as 'Starship Trooper'. Still I think the two first Flash albums are better than the two first Yes albums featuring Banks.

Report this review (#796336)
Posted Sunday, July 29, 2012 | Review Permalink
stefro
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Whilst you can hardly criticise Steve Howe's work with Yes, one really does wonder how the British progressive rock stalwarts would have turned out if original guitarist Peter Banks hadn't been booted out mere months before the release of the group's orchestrally-flavoured second album 'Time & A Word'. A consumate axeman in his own right, Banks career would never quite reach the sky highs of Howe-Era Yes, though he would, with his own group Flash, release a trio of very decent guitar-heavy prog-rock albums. Remarkably all three - 'Flash', 'In The Can' and 'Out Of Our Hands' - would be released during 1972, with, even more remarkably, the same line-up present on each. Featuring Banks, drummer Mike Hough, bassist Ray Bennett and vocalist Colin Carter, the quartet's self-titled debut remains arguably their strongest offering, yet there is still much to savour on both this follow-up and the group's final release 'Out Of Our Hands'. Continuing the cheeky cover-art theme established on 'Flash'(this time it's a barely-concealed nipple replacing the rather risque up-close-and- personal knickers-under-the-skirt image featured on the cover of their debut) 'In The Can' is another febrile dose of joyful, semi-metallic power-prog. The ten-minute opener 'Lifetime' picks up very much where 'Flash' left off, with Bennett's rumbling bass trundles underscoring Bank's wildly flamboyant guitar licks, Hough's furious drum patterns and the Jon Anderson-esque vocals of the very rock star-looking Carter, making for a suitably epic opening that morphs nicely into the mid-paced follow-up 'Monday Morning Eyes'. Featuring a distinctly early Yes feel - though without the swooning keyboards - 'Monday Morning Eyes' is classic Flash, a multi-coloured sonic prog adventure that skips heartily through a jumble of expertly-performed moments that once again highlight each individuals powerful playing yet also finds time for the foursome to add surprisingly adept vocal harmonies to the mix. Thankfully, after this strong beginning there is still time enough on the album for two more ten-minute-plus epics, the chundering 'Black & White' and the sky-reaching 'There No More' sandwiching the percussive strains of the brief throwaway piece 'Stop That Banging'. Of course, there will always be the detractors who brand Flash as some kind of sub-Yes clone, but that's completely missing the point. Flash will always be the rockier cousins of Banks previous employers, yet their sheer vibrant energy and slick, metal-tinged edge sets them well apart. Maybe 'In The Can' lacks the grandiose feel attached to both it's predecessor and the very best work of Yes, yet nonetheless this is still a fine slice of fist-pumping prog-rock(with the emphasis here very much on the 'rock') all the same. STEFAN TURNER, ANGEL ISLINGTON, 2012
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Posted Tuesday, September 18, 2012 | Review Permalink
apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars With ''Small beginnings'' reaching Billoboard No.28 and ''Flash'' selling over 100,000 copies, Flash lived the momentum and visited Holland, Belgium and Germany, while they even traveled to North America for some gigs.They returned to the De Lane Lea Studios to record their second album, again with Derek Lawrence as the producer, but without Tony Kaye, this time the only keyboards to be heard in the album was Banks' ARP synthesizer.''In the can'' was released on Sovereign in November 1972.

With three long tracks clocking at over 10 minutes each and two longer pieces, Flash sounded even more progressive than on their debut.A keyboard-less version of YES actually, the music is based on Banks' relentless guitar efforts with the satisfying solos and tireless rhythm changes, backed up by a solid bass/drum duo and an irritating vocalist.As YES dit at the time, Flash'es material was based on shifting climates, unexpected breaks, polyphonic harmonies and a mixture of smoky and more laid-back rock executions, of course the absence of keyboards affects the album's limited dimensions at some point.But the biggest flaw of this new work was that music did not sound as inspired as on their debut, the quartet seems a bit lost in the labyrinth of instrumental tricks and the chaotic thematic variations, certainly some synth leaks and interesting, jazzy-spiced moves are of great interest, but the final result is not particularly memorable.No doubt the band was pretty talented, each isolated section is trully superb in terms of technique and skills, but the combination of all these ideas doesn't seem to work very well.Still Banks' plays reach a mginificent level at times, a true magician of the guitar.

Not as good as ''Flash''.It's complex, guitar-driven Prog Rock with minor jazzy colors, maybe too chaotic for its own good.If you love YES, and I am sure there are millions of people who do, this is still a decent album of adventurous musicianship.

Report this review (#1378537)
Posted Friday, March 6, 2015 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars With its rather suggestive cover, Flash´s second album was my first taste of this english combo led by ex Yes founder guitarist Peter Banks. Compared to their first full length early that year, this is almost a complete departure. If Flash (the album) sounded a lot like early Yes, this one is very different. Ok, guitar and bass still sound a lot like Banks former group, but vocalist Colin Carter stopped emulating Jon Anderson, which is great. The music here is much more jazzier and rockier than Yes. The backing vocals are also one of the highlights of the band, with excellent harmonies that developed very much since their debut. It´s a pity that they didn´t use them as much.

They decided not to replace Tony Kaye when he left to form his own Badger band, and, to me, that was a fatal mistake. A great part of the album almost screams for keyboards (especially the 3 long tracks, all above the 10 minute mark which are the best). Banks handles well with only guitars (and a few ARP synthesizer lines, very few) but it´s clear that with a killer keyboards-man they could explore the songs structures much more and be a premier league band. As they were, the music is nice, but unmemorable. Technically very good, sounding pleasant but not really exciting. The production is also good for the time. The overall sensation is always that something´s missing. Small wonder the record made such little impact on me when I first heard them in the 70´s.

If you guitar-led prog is your thing, with some inventive jazz influences, you might like this album very much. For me it´s the classic example of a promising band that never reached their full potential, even if they were excellent musicians.

Rating: something between 2.5 and 3 stars

Report this review (#1471760)
Posted Thursday, October 1, 2015 | Review Permalink
patrickq
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Not a bad sophomore album, but there's really nothing special here. In the Can does seem to represent another step away from Yes for Flash leader and guitarist Peter Banks: not only is former Yes keyboardist Tony Kaye gone (and not replaced); In the Can just sounds less like Yes than Flash had. But don't get me wrong - - it still sounds like Yes, from the lyrics to syncopated instrumentation to the vocal harmonies.

The quality of the songs is fair, though they aren't as good as the songs on Flash. The performances are generally good; not surprisingly, this is a guitar-based album, and Banks is clearly up to the task. Nonetheless In the Can is annoying at times. The opening number, "Lifetime," is good, but it's hard to overlook the cribbing of "Hocus Pocus" (Focus, 1971) and "Astral Traveller" (Yes, 1970). "Black and White" has some good bass playing, but the vocal harmonies get a little tedious (e.g., the repetition of the word "time...time...time!").

Given the wide availability of Flash (1972) and Two Sides of Peter Banks (1973), I can't claim that In the Can is essential, even for Yes fans. I'd certainly recommend either of those albums before In the Can. If those are interesting, you might also listen to some of Banks's 1990s albums. Still interested? Then maybe In the Can is for you.

Report this review (#2182198)
Posted Tuesday, April 9, 2019 | Review Permalink

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