Centric Jones - 'The Antikythera Method' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 17, 2012    
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Doesn't give you a lot to grasp onto.

I have started to become a little bit wary of albums by American bands calling themselves ‘progressive’ as I personally don’t believe they can pull it off. Let’s be honest, what’s the thing we Brits have that the Americans just don’t, and which all the best Brit prog bands have/had in bucket loads? Eccentricity, that’s what. Oh yes, and a weird sense of humour.

This album then is no Pink Floyd, Yes or King Crimson, but could fit in the experimental box quite easily. First off, the album can be split into two categories; those with vocals and those without. The vocal tracks mainly have one thing in common. ‘Crushed,’ is an anti war song by the sound of it. Not many words used but they rhyme, even though they don’t make much sense: “The bombs have all been dropped, And the war room charts, on your bathroom wall, Causing you to stall”…Anybody?? Then it’s ‘Dream In Threes’ and it’s here that I realise there is not much variation from ‘Crushed’ as there is no melody to speak of, so you won’t be singing along to it, nor will you remember it once it has ended. ‘Morphogenic’ hits spacey vocal time again, but still unable to come up with a melody, and ‘Then’ - oh heck, she’s back again, with still no sign of a melody, but this one sounds a lot more in the Yes camp with some interesting moments, which is probably down to the fact that it’s a Jon Anderson song. ‘Pulse’ is a bit of a surprise as now we get to see what the vocalist can really do. Gone are the airey fairey sounds drowned in oceans of echo. And she sounds very good here.

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There are also seven purely instrumental tracks in all. With ‘Shadow Song,’ there are a few different styles including slight shades of Yes but it’s the final track ‘Antikythera Mechanism’ where they probably come closest to sounding like them, but would have been more successful with some vocals on there: but only by Jon Anderson! A really nice piano sequence opens ‘All For One,’ which is only spoiled when the horrible sounding rhythm guitar comes in. It doesn’t last long though before the piano comes back in, while ‘Boomer’ has a somewhat heavier sound to start with, going through numerous changes in style and tempo.

So, while I stated at the beginning that this was nothing like a classic British prog album, I do concede that they try hard to hit the Yes vibe. The problem for me is that it’s no good these days switching from major to minor to diminished 13ths and finishing with dominant 7ths while taking 6 minutes to do it if it doesn’t make sense at the end of it. All that was done in the 70s, and much better too.

This album splashes a lot of colour onto a varied palette, but doesn’t give you a lot to grasp onto.

Andy B

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