Bad Elephant Music [Release date 26.01.18]
My heart sinks when I see a shallow Press Release signposting a band as being of the ‘Progressive/Art Rock’ genre, and then sinks several degrees further when I see the only other information (apart from the fact this is the band’s fourth release despite them being ‘internationally renowned’ ) is that they’re clearly from an unspecified EU country.
If there’s a plus side of Brexit, it’s to be hoped that we’ll be spared such releases without some sort of import quota.
A little digging reveals that Fractual Mirror are – despite the fact the drums, guitar and backing vocals were recorded in North Wales – in fact Dutch. And while they’re supposed to be alternative ‘progressive rockers’, Close To Vapour is, despite the use of mellotron, some way short of ‘prog’.
And the band will agree that primarily they’re songwriters. So what you get is an album that has more in common with Bowie’s early singer/songwriter releases in the late-1960′s than Yes, or King Crimson. The Moody Blues, perhaps, but that’s a stretch.
No, Closer To Vapour is essentially easy listening pop, with a bit of mellotron/ flute thrown into the mix. And while it’s very passable, and with some most agreeable melodies, let’s not pretend it’s going to light any cross border fires. ***
Review by Pete Whalley
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