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MILKY WAY GAS STATION

Crossover Prog • Netherlands


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Milky Way Gas Station picture
Milky Way Gas Station biography
Founded in Amsterdam, Netherlands in 2010

A Dutch project MILKY WAY GAS STATION were founded as a rock quartet by Rob IJPELAAN (voices, guitars), Niels HOPPE (guitars), Harald VEENKER (drums), and Jeroen VRIEND (bass), a couple of years before their debut album "Somewhere / Anywhere" released upon September 9, 2017, that had needed time to see the light due to their perfectionism according to their mention.

See also: HERE

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3.68 | 6 ratings
Somewhere / Anywhere
2017

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MILKY WAY GAS STATION Reviews


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 Somewhere / Anywhere by MILKY WAY GAS STATION album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.68 | 6 ratings

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Somewhere / Anywhere
Milky Way Gas Station Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Call me an old proghead if you like, but any album which starts with a Hammond organ firing up is going to have me engaged from the first note to the very last. Songwriter and singer Rob Ijpelaan (who also provides acoustic and electric guitars, bass and additional keyboards) contacted me some time after he had originally sent this through to me, and I did my normal apologising for being too busy, disorganised etc. which meant it was taking longer than I would have liked to get to it, but his response was not too worry as he has been selling African Art for more than 20 years so is good at exercising patience. I had also told Rob I was quite prepared to work from a download (I live at the end of the world after all), but he also wanted me to have the full release so I could experience the whole thing. So all in all I was impressed long before I got into it.

This is the debut from Dutch act Milky Way Gas Station, and the quartet also includes Niels Hoppe (lead guitar), Harald Veenker (drums) and Jeroen Vriend (bass). There are also a few guests helping out on the album, and one of those keyboard players is none other than Joakim Svalberg (Opeth), not bad for a little-known band. As I write this there isn't even a single review of this on Prog Archives, so somehow they have managed to slip through the net, which I certainly can't explain, as this is a polished and inviting album which drags the listener into their world and refuses to let them go. It is highly melodic, yet also has symphonic tendencies, while the CD comes in a simple digipak but I love the artwork and the way it has all been put together.

Most of the songs are fairly short, just a few stretching the ten minute mark, until you get to the last number on the album, "Telescope Sight" which is more than 25 minutes long. Right from the beginning and the acoustic guitar, one is taken into a world where the music has been highly arranged and space is an important additional instrument. There are no drums for the first few minutes, and when they do come in they provide addition rhythmic support for the melody at the front. Vocals are strong, electric guitar moves and sways, totally changing the musical aspect when it makes an entry. In some ways it reminds me of 'The World'-era Pendragon, yet with additional lightness and a style of singer songwriter which for some reason makes me think of The Levellers each time I play it, and I have no idea why (good old subconscious is picking up on something I'm missing).

Highly polished, compelling, superb soaring progressive rock with elements also of Big Big Train, this is an album I highly recommend.

 Somewhere / Anywhere by MILKY WAY GAS STATION album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.68 | 6 ratings

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Somewhere / Anywhere
Milky Way Gas Station Crossover Prog

Review by Steve Conrad

3 stars Set Your Clocks to "Unhurried"

Milky Way Gas Station, hailing from the Netherlands, consists of Rob IJpelaan, vocals, guitar Niels Hoppe, guitar Harald Veenker, drums Jeroen Vriend, bass

Several other musicians were guests on this album, their debut.

I could swear I hear keyboards, but darned if I know who plays them.

According to the band website biographies, three of the four members played in KRAMER, a band with which I am not familiar.

When I say "unhurried", this refers not only to the pace and timing of the album, but also to the process of rehearsing and recording this album. Apparently the tunes emerged and re-emerged over a five year period.

Pink Floyd references are unmistakeable.

Especially track 4, "37, Pt. 2" brought "Dark Side of the Moon" to mind, with the absurdly powerful female vocals in the mix.

Yet practically throughout, with the powerful sustained keyboard and guitar chords, fretless bass guitar making appearances, slide guitar tones, use of acoustic guitar passages, and so on, Pink Floyd could be heard.

Certainly there were differences

For instance, the vocalist had his own timbre, clear, somehow plaintive, expressive. Guitar tones were varied, from clean or slightly treated, to singing distortion, to sweep picking. One or both guitarists have great technique, tone, and taste.

The band says, and I agree: It's about the songs.

These range from 3 minutes and change long, to north of 26 minutes for the epic closing track. Each is unhurried, taking time to develop, simmer, and wind down. There is passion, but it is restrained passion. I suspect lyrics to the songs were important but didn't have access to these in time to write this review.

If I had one suggestion

Hone these down a bit! It could be most listeners won't mind seventy minutes of material and the unhurried pace- but I certainly noticed it.

Oh, and another thing

Let those ladies sing some more! Wow!

Overall, I liked this album a lot. There were lots of textures, variations, singing synth solos, and stellar guitar work. Drums and bass were terrific and in synch.

Rating- I'm saying 3.75, AWFULLY close to 4 stellar fill-ups.

Thanks to dAmOxT7942 for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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