Now you know we’re partial to a slice or two of glorious prog rock around here, we’ve never hidden that fact, none of that denial around these parts, none of that business of only mentioning it when the wind is right and fashion say we can do so, none of that “oh I love that stuff but I can’t admit it”, cut the crap, here’s three new albums just coming out…
Airbridge have, rather unexpectedly for those of us who weren’t paying close attention, just released a new album, only 39 years after their previous one. One of the lesser known lights of the that glorious period now referred to as the NWOBPR (the New Wave of British Prog Rock), that time, back in the early 80’s before things became tediously “neo” and we bounced around places like the Marquee to the sound of IQ, Pallas and Twelfth Night. They did release an EP back in 2013 so I guess they have been relatively busy, quite who is in Airbridge now isn’t that clear, certainly original members Lorenzo Bedini and Sean Godfrey, the details aren’t as important as the way it all feels and Memories of Water is definitely feeling properly Airbridge – things feel delightfully right actually, it looks good as well, looks and feels proper, and how can you not smile your way through the story of Canterbury Kate (and the chocolate flake) and the tales of the land of Grey and Pink or The Fanfare To The Uncommon Worm or indeed any of the pieces of work. Have they got a time machine? Have they just woken up blinking from 1983? Memories of Water is just the right side or raw, it feels like it should be on on a cassette tape, bought at a gig or mail-orded via fanzine, there’s a beauty in the flawed nature of the production, everything feels so right, the style, the sentiment, the Misplaced Childhood, or maybe youth and learning to have fun? Some of it is very positively Fish-period Marillion and we’ve maybe played some of these scenes before, but hey, that’s no bad thing, it feels good, it fees right, emotional actually, it feels like a genuine love for then and now and how we all laughed until we cried and healthy bits of Pink Floyd and Camel and Caravan and skylarks singing all day, and yes, lots of Genesis, but all of it in a positive sense, you’ll either totally utterly get it and love it or just dismiss it, it does sound like something very honest, very genuine, a labour of love, made for all the right reasons, it is flawed but somehow that adds to it all, love it.
LINKS – Facebook / Website / Bandcamp
A Formal Horse – Meat Mallet – A second album from Southampton’s A Formal Horse, before anything else a word for the great artwork by Julia Soboleva, these things need acknowledgement. And Hayley McDonnell does have a delightful way with words and rhymes that others might not get away with, she does hold attention, she is rather forceful, she could start a war if she wanted to, powerful frontwoman complemented in just the right way by a powerfully strong band – this is normality and Western supremacy, she does sound like she could take on John Wayne and his family. England is this all you got? This all very now both in terms of the music and the lyrics, a modern melodic blend of progressive guitar-based metal that somehow feels a lot more inviting than modern progressive metal usually does, it must be the personality, the warmth, the humanity that is so often lost somewhere in the need to show off technique. A Formal Horse have big hearts, this second album is alive with personality (the first got rather a lot of play on our Other Rock Show, no doubt this one will as well), they sound big, they sound ambitious, challenging, and those lines do keep catching ears and the sister on the moomen who does’nt like the uniform but rather likes the view and the devil is in the details or in this case the headlines, so many things to like here…
3: Diagonal – Brighton-based prog-flavoured six piece Diagonal have revealed a couple of tracks from their forthcoming album 4, said album will be released via the Cobblers label on October 1Are they speeding up, the last album came out in 2019, before that it was a seven year gap to The Second Mechanism (2012). They released their self-titled debut in 2008. The opening track Amon certainly bodes well, they’ve got something a little different going on there, hints of lots of things without ever being that obvious, that hint of West Coast psychedelia that flows with the progressive forward movement of… well you have the tracks there via their Bandcamp, is there a nod towards Van Der Graaf or Yes in there with the bits of Pure Reason Revolution or Mew or maybe even Little Giant Drug along with the bits that sound like bits from classic Bristish 70’s crime film soundtracks. Beautiful textures, crisp, strong harmonic feel, bright, bold, a hint of things from back there without ever feeling that retro, That opening track is rather beautiful actually, rather refreshing, go have a listen, highly recommended…
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