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(45:56, Garden Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Twister 3:49 2. Come Away Samantha 2:01 3. Exocet 3:57 4. Blown Into Another Man's Sky 6:51 5. Home James and Don't Spare the Horses 2:46 6. Crossing the Rubicon 4:18 7. Elviras Garden 3:42 8. (I Just Want to) Sculpture You 2:55 9. Steelball Wind 2:17 10. Secret Places 3:13 11. England in the Rain 2:49 12. I Lost the Way 7:18 LINEUP: Jon Buxton - vocals, guitars, bass, drums, keyboards Jez Nutbean - piano, keyboards, vocals Paul Florence - bass Richard Gibson - bass Andy Cooke - bass Tony McIlwan - drums Richartd Wise - drums Michelle Buxton - backing vocals Sarah Birks - backing vocals
Prolusion. English band HERONIMUS FIN has a history going back to 1994, and have been a presence in the underground psychedelic rock scene ever since. "Blown Into Another Man's Sky" is the band's fourth studio production, and was released through UK label Garden Records in 2016.
Analysis. One detail of note about this band and this album, is that I'm unsure on just how much of a band effort this really is. As main man Buxton has written all the songs and is credited with most of the instrument roles, my impression is that, at least at the recording stage, this is more a case of a solo artist with additional musicians helping out than a proper band production per se. Not all that important I guess, but a notion that struck me when I typed in the credits for this production. As far as the music is concerned, this is underground psychedelic rock, with a wee bit of a mainstream orientation thrown in for good measure. The mainstream aspect of this album is that the songs are, by and large, easygoing affair, often with catchy chorus sections. Well developed material, but not the most challenging music you will encounter. My impression is that the core foundation of the material resides partially in 60's psychedelic rock and partially in early 70's garage rock, with a slight bit of flavoring from the pop/rock of the early 60's, occasionally with a slight touch of 50's rock 'n roll thrown in. This latter detail mainly by way of the bass guitar. The material is compelling and pleasant, but without the ingredients needed to make a great impression beyond a niche audience. It is when the band steps a bit outside of their comfort zone that I find them most appealing however, first and foremost in the subtly Americana tinged, ballad-oriented Come Away Samantha, and the more hard rock oriented Crossing the Rubicon. Both of these are songs that comes across as stronger and with a broader general appeal to me, and I not these down as clear album highlights. The more punk and post-punk oriented Steelball Wizard is another song that for me comes across as being of a different and more elevated quality than the rest of this album. Otherwise I note that there's something of a lo-fi, honest atmosphere to the entire album. Probably due to budget restraints, but this could also very well be a planned aspect of this album, giving it a vintage mood and atmosphere that is often found appealing by those with an interest in vintage era psychedelic rock.
Conclusion. Heronimus Fin isn't a band that will appeal to a numerous amount of die hard fans of progressive rock. The music they explore lack the challenging and sophisticated features that is needed to be able to accomplish that. But if vintage era psychedelic pop/rock is music you tend to enjoy, then this is a band worth getting more familiar with. Especially if you don't mind a band of this kind having an occasional go at harder edged material here and there as well.
Progmessor: March 25th, 2018
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