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C-Sides - 'We Are Now' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     February 12, 2018    
 
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It does say on the album sleeve "Recorded at the graveside", and I believe that.

C Sides are a Welsh Prog Rock act, and that's not something you hear every day is it? The group incorporates two ex-members of established Prog band Magenta (Martin Rosser and Allan Mason-Jones) with 'We Are Now' being their second album; the first, 'Devitrification', was released in 2011. This is the first time I had comes across them and therefore I didn't know what to expect, but from what I had read, I thought this would be an album of melodious songs with a sound ranging from big and opulent to ambient. Hmmm...

There are some long tracks on here, and that is something that's always encouraging to a Prog fan, but opening track 'Out Of The Water' is a little flat and unexciting, with harmony vocals that need some work. 'Black Road River' is a song that stays on one level, with a "middle 8" that goes on for ever, while 'Deck Chair City' meanders for over six minutes with no dynamics; to be honest I started to drop off. The tempo raises a bit after that, but then it sounded like something I had heard before. Listening to 'Truth Through Clowns' it became obvious to me that vocalist Allen McCarthy likes to sing through a narrow drainpipe crossed with a megaphone, and he's determined that you know there's no way out of this.

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Rosser opens up on guitar a little in 'Rock And A Hard Place' which is better, but the drainpipe is still there. It's not all bad though, as 'Living Without Wires' gives us a bit of a foot-tapping moment, and 'We Are Now', which is the longest track on here (by just two seconds!), has a quirky little guitar riff at the start.
Overall, what I was expecting I didn't really get. Certain motifs in the music go on for far too long, getting into a bit of a groove and staying there, and you have to work on the sound equaliser-wise, as the guitar is too low in the mix unless you do. It does say on the album sleeve "Recorded at the graveside", and I believe that.

Andy Brailsford

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