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Tin Spirits - 'Scorch' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/57/a2/0f/Tin-Spirits-Scorch-25-1426015819.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 10, 2015    
 
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Another fine album in a year of many wonderful releases.

The formation of Tin Spirits came about in 2008 when Daniel Steinhardt from TheGigRig (effects foot pedals) invited former XTC and Big Big Train guitarist Dave Gregory to jam with his band (The Hi-Fidels) which included bassist Mark Kilminster and drummer Doug Mussard. They enjoyed it so much they took it a stage further and recorded an album, 'Wired To Earth' that emerged in 2012.

The debut was good but this follow-up is even better, with its combination of 1970s Prog with the Poppier sensibilities of XTC, plus a few nods in the direction of the Modern Prog style making for a very pleasant and interesting listen.

The opening instrumental 'Carnivore' immediately puts me in mind of 'Duke'/'Abacab'-era Genesis thanks to a chugging bass refrain and the chorded guitar motif, both of which are redolent of the band at that time.

'Summer Now' is a wonderful track. It has a BBT vibe with a lovely rolling guitar riff and a delightfully melodic vocal performance. I would go as far as to say this is a beautiful song; it may seem simple, but the best tracks often are. The chorus is fabulous as is the guitar solo. The bridge and second solo inject a different feel before the band loop seamlessly back to the original tumbling pattern.

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'Old Hands' opens like a cross between Spock's Beard and The Flower Kings before changing to a vibe not unlike XTC for the verses with the opening refrain returning for the chorus. To mix things up the guitar solo introduces a third phase over a dynamic drum pattern. There is a dodgy, heavy bit that's at odds with the musicality of the rest of the song and album, but it's mercifully brief.

'Binary Man' has a chunky riff, great lyrics and yet more strong melodies; when the pace of the song increases the Prog elements are to the fore. Some of the guitar work makes me think of Alex Lifeson (Rush). 'Little Eyes' is another terrific song with a cascading riff and a glorious chorus. The lengthy solo that draws the song to a close is a masterpiece of construction and tunefulness.

'Wrapped & Tied' has a spiky edge to the riff giving it a modern feel but it's no less tuneful for all of that while 'She Moves Among Us' is an acoustic instrumental prelude to the album's epic closing number 'Garden State'. Once more there are lovely refrains and melodies as it spans various styles and themes. It loses momentum briefly in the middle before the key theme returns in splendid style.

Another fine album in a year of many wonderful releases.

Gary Marshall

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