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(57:34, High Spy)
There was a step change between the first two albums, as the band had been gigging hard and by now knew what they wanted to achieve, and their 2009 album was a strong statement. The production is far sharper than the debut, and the album commences with dramatic keyboards, and when the rest of the band kick in it is as if the Nineties scene has never gone away as this is soaring neo prog in the vein of Pallas. The two Marks vie for dominance (the keyboards win, sometimes), while the rhythm section is strong, and Ade shows he is a powerful vocalist. The album contains plenty of keyboard fills, where Mark Price moves from providing layers of keyboard curtains in to something far more dynamic, while Mark Stokes has a clean guitar sound. The use of twin guitars does also lead the ears to sometimes compare some sections to Final Conflict, but that really isn’t a surprise. If the debut felt as if the band were trying to find their feet and make something available, this is much more a band knowing what they wanted to achieve, and the confidence is there for everyone to hear. The songs are commercial, yet not mainstream, so they are easy to listen to and enjoy without feeling that the band was deliberately aiming for a certain audience but instead were doing exactly what they wanted. Ballads such as “Just In Time” give way to harmonised numbers like “Joy Peace Love” which one can easily imagine going down a storm at gigs with catchy choruses and great hooks. This is the type of fun album which was coming from the likes of Abel Ganz and Comedy of Errors back in the day, and I am pleased I finally heard it.
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