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(60:28, Melodic Revolution Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Land of Plastic 5:18 2. The Gyre 5:41 3. Building 5:23 4. Telepathy 4:31 5. Oh Gyreland 3:33 6. The World We Really Want 4:02 7. Renewed World 3:17 8. We Are Not Alone 3:52 9. Triangle of Power 5:01 10. Uneasy Truce 4:31 11. Invasion 3:52 12. Wistful Waves 5:37 13. March of Tides 5:50 LINEUP: Steve Bonino - vocals, bass Peter Matuchniak - guitars, vocals Vance Gloster - keyboards, vocals with: Jimmy Keegan - drums
Prolusion. US band BOMBER GOGGLES is a fairly new venture, and the result of veteran composers and musicians Steve Bonino, Vance Gloster and Peter Matuchniak joining forces. With noted session drummer Jimmy Keegan contributing with his particular talents, they recorded their debut album "Gyreland", which was subsequently released through US label Melodic Revolution Records in the spring of 2018.
Analysis. The three musicians that have set up this band comes across as fairly diverse in background, and that is something one will note when listening through this album as well. They do not try to explore any of the more common subsections of progressive rock, and in fact one might get the impression that they are actively shying away from doing just that. Which, I guess, is for the better as well as for the worse. A common denominator is that the music is rather accessible however, and despite numerous shifts in pace, arrangements, moods and atmospheres, none of the songs comes across as challenging or hard on the ears or the mind. It is an easy album to enjoy, and as it is a conceptual one we are given some recurring elements throughout that strengthens the album identity as well. You may well lose yourself in this album, buy you will never be lost, if you catch my drift. For my sake I do find that many of the songs to me strikes me as creations that doesn't allow the individual members to contribute to their strengths however, especially in the vocals department. The songs move a bit too much back and forth and sideways for me to be able to find any pleasure on an elevated level too, and some of the compositions comes across as ever so slightly slow paced. All of these minor items, but combined they become somewhat detrimental for someone with my taste in music. Otherwise I note that the band appear to enjoy something of a hard rock swagger at times, albeit removing the hard bit on occasion while still retaining the swagger. One of those details that made me smile in joy that one, alongside the inclusion of disco in one specific creation. Otherwise both symphonic progressive rock and neo progressive rock gets a fair share of nods throughout, the occasional jazz-tinged instrument details makes the odd appearance, as do the proggy rather than progressive rock expression of a band such as, for instance, Magnum. Not a perfect album by any means, at least in my book, but most certainly an enjoyable one through and through. And the sheer talent that lies behind this band is easy to grasp, and I will be curious as to how this band will develop in the next few years. There's more than enough talent present for us to expect something sensational from these folks if they decide to continue this venture.
Conclusion. Bomber Goggles comes across as a fairly unconventional band in many ways on their debut album "Gyreland", shying away from many common tropes and doing their very own thing in a quirky yet surprisingly accessible manner. Those fond of the more accessible side of progressive rock should lend an ear to this album at some point, as I rather expect that a rather broad audience base will find this production to be a compelling and captivating one. Especially those fond of concept albums.
Progmessor: October 28th, 2018
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