Would Work Sound [Release date 14.02.17]
Sometimes reviewers can get lost underneath a sea of review copies waiting to be sorted, waiting for evaluation. They seek refuge in other music eras, rediscovering their lost youth, whilst avoiding the present. Anything but reviewing what’s in hand. And then, an unassuming disc comes along and grabs the attention. Immediately, the focus sharpens and an audible sigh: there is still good stuff out there!
The Spiritual Machines is a project from TV/film composer/producer Evan Frankfort and as you might expect he realises densely coloured soundscapes, aided in the main by vocalist James Grundler. Anyone who includes a two part take on ‘Don’t Fear The Reaper’ that sounds nothing like BOC is attempting fate, but in the overall context it’s passable if somewhat disposable.
The album – Frankfort’s second under this moniker - is a concept piece describing a futuristic time when humans can exist outside their bodies and live forever “in the cloud”. Frankfort has taken his cue from futurist/novelist Ray Kurzweil. Musically, think Bush mixed with Muse, but in a good way.
The highlight here is ‘Bubble’ featuring the vocals of the under-used Lori Denae, closely followed by the complementary ‘The Race Is Still Alive’ sung by Grundler and ‘The Man Who Stole The World’.
Frankfort saves his best for last, though, because ‘Anyone Can Fly (Rise Up)’ deploys the full gamut of his filmic calling with stirring orchestration, massed choirs, and an excellent Grundler vocal.
This is a truly energising and provocative album. Seek it out. ****
Review by David Randall
David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.
Throughout September 2018 Get Ready to ROCK! Radio celebrated the station’s 10th anniversary and a two-hour special reflected a decade of broadcasting. “10 years in the making” features archive interviews with Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), Todd Rundgren, Graham Bonnet, David Coverdale, John Wetton and Bob Catley.
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Power Plays w/c 12 November 2018
STEPHEN PEARCY U Only Live Twice Frontiers)
NORTHWARD Timebomb (Nuclear Blast)
MASON HILL Hold On (indie)
RAINLIGHT Field Of Souls (indie)
EDEN’S CURSE Forever (AFM Records)
Featured Albums w/c 12 November (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 TEN Illuminati (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 NORDIC UNION Second Coming (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 LARKIN POE Venom & Faith (Proper Music)
Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)
18:00-19:00 MAGGIE REILLY Heaven Sent (2013)
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