Inside Out [Release date 03.04.20]
Reunions can be a tricky thing, sometimes a welcome return that reinvigorates a band, letting them dip into their back catalogue and bringing new gems but, more often than not, a last chance cash grab.
It’s heartening to say that Pure Reason Revolution most certainly fall into the former category, a stellar but relatively short career behind them, they have decided to reform and pulled off something that few are able in the release of an album that not only reaches the heady heights of it’s predecessors but exceeds them.
‘Eupnea’ is not just a glorious rebirth of the band but an album that stands shoulder to shoulder with some of the finest releases of the past ten years.
The aptly titled ‘New Obsession’ kicks things off, a spiraling and swirling kaleidoscope of sound that has a heavy undertow but with a sweet fondant icing topping. Coming over like Muse’s Parma Violet scented younger siblings, this rocks but has the deftness of touch and sheen that is made for repeated listens as layer upon layer reveals itself.
Next up, the epic ‘Silent Genesis’ has a hugely powerful punch as it rolls and broils through its ten-minute length. Truly widescreen, it manages to juxtapose synths and heavy-duty riffs to startling effect, again, mixing sweet and salty sounds into the heady brew as you get swept away.
‘Maelstrom’ takes a different route with its elements of sweet 70’s and 80’s new romantic pop, as it takes off like a rocket tearing off a launch pad and into space.
There has always been a great elan and intelligence in the songwriting of Pure Reason Revolution and that runs true with this new material, the band never choosing to take the easy route but always heading down a progressive path in all its various definitions.
Along with some of the elements that have seen Matt Bellamy and Co fill stadiums, there are little glimmers of the space rock of Hawkwind too and this is ably demonstrated in ‘Ghosts and Typhoons’ as it blasts cosmic highways. Ferocious and hugely powerful, the track is another lengthy work out that sees the band unleashing enough heavyweight firepower to flatten a city.
Penultimate track ‘Beyond our Bodies’ shimmers in the brightest of sunlight before the grandiose title track ‘Eupnea’ brings things to a crushing and apocalyptic end. Running at over thirteen minutes, this sees the band firing on all cylinders and is a hyper-driven rush into the farthest limits of the galaxy before sliding back to the cool blue of Earth. The soundtrack to Anime robots fighting in technicolour cartoon battles, this track couldn’t be more cool, stylish mind-blowing as it goes from rocking out to some of the off the wall blazes of creativity that has so defined the recordings of Kate Bush.
This is a release that deserves being listened to on headphones as you get swept away by it’s overwhelming majesty. Hi-Fi was made for albums like this. Welcome back Pure Reason Revolution, you’re here to save the world. ****1/2
Review by Paul Monkhouse
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UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 8 September 2020.
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