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25 Yard Screamer - 2013 - "Something That Serves to Warn or Remind"

(57:52, White Knight Records)


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TRACK LIST:

1.  The Lost Outside / Welcome to Here 5:02
2.  The Ritual 5:22
3.  Wilderness 1:58
4.  Always There 7:30
5.  Lost in a Green and Blue Sky 9:00
6.  The Journey 7:03
7.  Home Is Not Home 6:12
8.  The Empty Ship 6:30
9.  Just Myself and These Keys 9:15

LINEUP:

Nick James  guitars; keyboards; vocals
Tom Bennett  keyboards 
Matthew Clarke  bass 

Prolusion. The Welsh band 25 YARD SCREAMER was formed back in 2002, and have one EP and four full length albums to their name so far. Recorded at the 2112 studio in South Wales, "Something That Serves to Warn or Remind" is the most recent of these. The CD was released through the UK label White Knight Records in November 2013.

Analysis. A couple of songs into this album, one begins to understand why Marillion and Rush are stated at the top of the list of this band's stated influences. While one can't exactly describe this band as a blend between those two, certain elements that can be traced back to those bands are easily heard in the material presented to us, especially in the case of the latter. 25 Yard Screamer is one of those bands that tend to alternate between calmer, fragile passages and contrasting harder edged, more powerful constructions, and it's in those two relative extremes that one most easily comes across the details that most likely can be traced to specified origins. Gentle, plucked guitars, acoustic or undistorted electric, backed by smooth keyboards or a frail wandering piano, completed with emotional lead vocals, is a description I presume many fans of Marillion will find familiar, in particular those who are fond of the Fish-era of that band. On the other hand I guess that compact, harder edged guitar constructions with an energetic bass motif as main support is a description that will get a nod from many fans of Rush, especially when the guitars in question mainly shy way from the darker parts of the register. That fairly smooth and often cold keyboard textures are frequently applied to this latter part is one of those details that does give this band a stronger identity mark though, and that they tend to alternate between these expressions within the same composition another one of those details that makes them more than a collection of influences. The often fiery guitar soloing is another such detail that warrants a mention. Still, I kind of assume that there's a reason for why this CD was recorded in a studio named 2112 too, as the number of occasions that does bring Rush in particular to mind are fairly numerous. The one occasion where this foursome steps a bit further away from their comfort zone comes at the very end of this CD. Just Myself and My Keys is the name of this creation, sporting a frail, fragile atmosphere in the majority of its length, using careful guitar details with ever so slight psychedelic touches to it at times to emphasize the lyrical content. We do get a run through a majestic arrangement as well in the second half of the song, prior to a more delicate conclusion of another nature entirely, as the final song concludes with the sound of birdsong. As this is how this CD opened as well that is a nice and logical manner of concluding the disc.

Conclusion. Careful, emotionally laden progressive rock of the kind that gave Marillion a career way back when are combined with a harder edged, guitar riff driven style more similar to late 70s and early 80s Rush on 25 Yard Screamer's 2013 production "Something That Serves to Warn or Remind". A combination that works rather well, and a key audience for this CD should be those who enjoy listening to both of these bands, with a special mention to fans of the Fish-era Marillion and those who prefer to enjoy Rush prior to 1987.

OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: September 1, 2014
The Rating Room


Related Links:

White Knight Records
25 Yard Screamer


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