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Music Review

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Artist: Pure Reason Revolution
Label: InsideOut Music
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 03 April 2020

InsideOut Music releases Eupnea, the fifth album by British Progressive Rock/Electro band Pure Reason Revolution. It is available on Limited Edition Digipak CD, Gatefold 2 x LP with CD, and for Digital Download. Formed in 2003 at the University of Westminster, they put out four albums (The Dark Third in 2006, Live at NEARfest 2007 in 2008, Amor Vincit Omnia in 2009, and Hammer and Anvil in 2010) before going their separate ways and moving on to other projects. Ex-Period Pains and Tiny Giant artist Chloe Alper (vocals, bass and keyboards) got back together with All Bangers No Mash, Bullet Height, and Sunset Sound musician Jon Courtney (vocals, guitar and keyboards) to play The Dark Third in its entirety at a Dutch festival. Afterwards, they decided there was much more to explore musically. Favoured in a review by none other than Rick Wakeman, the band has returned to its roots of Prog/Psych Rock and Electro Folk, whilst incorporating the experience of everything they have gathered since the early releases...

The LP opens with 'New Obsession'. Here atmospheric sound effects reminiscent of Pink Floyd evolve into Intensive Care Unit beeps and buzzes. A repeated drum pattern is a ground for a mid-paced Psychedelic Prog Rock sound, with guitar, piano, male vocals and reverb female vocals. This enters more of my territory two-thirds of the way through, when it suddenly gets dark and heavy, with throbbing bass and guitar fuzz to the fore. A nicely constructed song. 'Silent Genesis' has everyone’s worst instrument – a drum machine! – get us underway amidst a ringing guitar and electronica. This is a great sequence. Again, it is heavily influenced by Pink Floyd. A warmer guitar sound plays over the trebly one. Keyboard enters the fray, heavy and distorted, before stepping back to introduce the male vocals. Quite frankly, they spoil the magic of the construct by failing to fit the mood, and by incorporating American slants on English words. The female vocals work much better. This is the best track by far, though. A magnum opus which would have worked much better as an instrumental.

'Maelstrom' has the female vocals over a similar drumbeat as 'New Obsession'. This one is too lightweight AOR for my liking, the only saving grace being the guitar with touches of early Big Country. With 'Ghosts & Typhoons' we’re back to the ghostly sound of the earlier songs. Very much the Pink Floyd style of the 1971 Meddle era. The attempt to emulate the tones of David Gilmour doesn’t work though. I love the tentative fuzz guitar which invites the obvious trademark late heaviness. More of this please. The thick but smooth sound is much the better of the two moods. The haunting delay on the guitar is nice, too. This is an outstanding track, but much less varied than 'Silent Genesis'.

'Beyond Our Bodies' has both singing voices harmonise to this ringing guitar ballad of sorts. It is only natural by now that an even heavier band sound should slam into place as the expected contradiction. We wrap-up with 'Eupnea'. The electronic voice disappearing into a keyboard sound is again treading Floyd territory ('Sheep', anyone?). This is the title track and longest piece. At almost thirteen and a half minutes, this combo has the opportunity to incorporate the full scope of their sound. This time we are left waiting until the halfway point before the heavy point emerges. This has more meat on the bone and carries more substance than some of the lighter touches. Mother Earth gets to have her story told here, but the truth is this falls far short of track two.

Obvious influences are a bold move. Pure Reason Revolution has tried to make this style their own, and succeeded to a point. It’s a good album, with the only mistake being a similar structure to the songs.


Ty Power

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