Freedom To Glide - 'Fall' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 25, 2018    
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These boys deserve to be higher profile than they are; terrific Neo-Prog.

The duo of Andy Nixon (vocals, guitar, bass & programming) and Pete Riley (vocals, keyboards, programming & effects) have followed up their wonderful 2013 'Rain' album with this, the second part of an intended anti-war trilogy. Once again they've produced a highly evocative set of songs, all of which are played superbly. To my ears this album relies less heavily on the Pink Floyd comparisons of the debut and demonstrates that FTG have discovered their own personality. Lyrically they are superb and their playing is top quality. There's no indication of a drummer being involved, but if they're programmed that facet one would never have guessed.

As I played the album for the umpteenth time it suddenly dawned on me who it reminded me of... John Wetton (Asia, UK, King Crimson), which is no bad thing in my book. The song quality is up there with Wetton's and one of the guys has a voice with a similar timbre and delivery. The hooks, themes, refrains and choruses are wonderful across all thirteen tracks, even those that can be described as short segue pieces.

The title track is one such piece; it lures you in with a gentle opening then suddenly explodes. Both 'Silent Code' and 'Names In The Stone' are Wetton-like numbers, each features fine choruses while the former has delightful solos from both piano and guitar. The latter being the more up-tempo of the two and it segues smoothly into the splendid guitar solo that is 'Toll'. The doubled vocal on 'Playing God' is a great touch. 'Exit Wound' is in the vein of Jadis and 'The Middle Game' is a beautifully constructed song.

'Enigma' is a wonderful track spread across nearly eight minutes, during which time it builds from a simple piano and vocal to something quite bombastic and then back again. Again the chorus is wonderful, as is the Dave Gilmour-esque guitar solo. 'Trough Of War' has a Beatle-ish guitar pattern at times while 'Sleep Under the Flag' is a poem read over a minimal backing, which conjures the image of people lining the streets of Wooten Basset as the funeral corteges of fallen soldiers pass by. The jaunty music of 'Another Same' belies the lyrical theme and 'October' presents a Rockin' finale to a splendid body of work.

These boys deserve to be higher profile than they are; terrific Neo-Prog.

Gary Marshall

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