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Flash - In The Can CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.32 | 94 ratings

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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
stefro | 4/5 |


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