My review of this album requires a bit of background in how I see different musical movements evolving. When the punk rock movement happened, a lot of people said it was a reaction to things like progressive rock. I’ve read more recently, that it was more about the over-produced dance music that was coming out of the whole disco era. Either way, there is a sort of popular perception that punk rock is an anti-prog. I suppose to some degree that’s true on a number of levels.
That brings us to the whole post-punk and post-prog musical styles. Interestingly enough in recent years a form of punk rock influenced music seems to have embraced a lot of the progressive rock sounds and concepts. There’s a band called “Green Milk from the Planet Orange” out there who really embodies it by merging punk with jazz and a lot of prog and creating massive, complex epic pieces.
Working within that same basic genre format, but in a very different way came Radiohead. They started as a very punk rock based alternative rock band, but very quickly moved into a form of progressive rock that came directly from their earlier style. Genre like dream-pop and shoegaze are definitely in line with progressive rock. That is the sort of fertile musical landscape from which this band and this album seem to emerge.
The opening piece is titled “There’s a Place.” I can make out a lot of the alternative rock meets prog kind of texture in this song. It leans toward dream pop and shoe-gaze. It starts very mellow, but works out to a more powered up arrangement. It makes me think of Radiohead in a lot of ways.
Next comes “Pure.” I mentioned Radiohead both in my preamble and my review of the last song. There is a lot of that sound here. In fact, the mellower elements on this make me think of “Creep” just a bit. Still, this is overall along the lines of prog rock.
Piano begins “Moonflower” and brings some real variety to it. This works into some decidedly progressive rock based stuff. I suppose the Radiohead connection is still valid here, but there are also things that are more in-line with things like RPWL and Porcupine Tree, too. It drops back to a slow moving, tentative guitar based section, and then rises back upward. This is the most dynamic and diverse cut here. It even has some rather jazzy stuff later.
Another that’s rather dynamic and very prog rock like, “Never Again” isn’t as diverse as the last number. Still, it has a more dream pop kind of edge that makes it a winner.
The final song appropriately bears the title “The End” with the parenthetical of “Haunt Me). Dream pop and shoegaze merge on this slower moving number. It’s a pretty one. I like the little build up at the start of it. The whole cut works pretty well, though.
All in all, I like this set quite a bit. I do wish the vocal deliveries were varied a bit more. Beyond that, though, this is quite effective. If you find yourself a fan of things like dream-pop, shoegaze and post-prog, you really should give this a try. It lands on the more pop music oriented end of the spectrum, but it definitely fits into that same general soundscape.