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The No Name Experience - 2014 - "The Clock That Went Backwards"

(49:46, Progressive Promotion Records)


****+
                 
TRACK LIST:

1.  My Inner Clock 7:09
2.  Clairvoyance 2:13
3.  About Angels and Devils 6:37
4.  Looking Back and Forward 7:04
5.  The Clock That Went Backwards 4:52
6.  Circles of Life 5:56
7.  Welcome to My New World 3:57
8.  The Snow 8:00
9.  Circles of Life Edit 3:58 (b/t)

LINEUP:

Patrick Kiefer  vocals 
Michel Volkmann  guitars 
Alex Rukavina  keyboards 
Claude Zeimes  basses 
Gilles Wagner  drums 
With:
Fred Hormain  saxophone 

Prolusion. Hailing from Luxemburg, THE NO NAME EXPERIENCE was formed in 2012, when Alex Rukavina and Patrick Kiefer, both with a past in the recently disbanded band No Name, decided to collaborate initially for one single song, but the project then expanded into a band and album process. "The Clock That Went Backwards" is the debut album of The No Name Experience, and was released through the German label Progressive Promotion Records in 2014.

Analysis. As the first few songs on this album start unfolding, neo progressive rock is an expression that comes rather easily to mind. Vintage neo progressive rock as a matter of fact, of the kind that makes you recall the mid 80's and the handful of new bands that carried the progressive rock banner more or less proudly back then. As with many such bands, there's also a touch of late 70's Genesis to their creations. Gentle themes and arrangements sporting careful guitar details, smooth keyboards coating and a distinct focus on mood and atmosphere are the order of the day then, light and melodic material without any aspects to speak of what resides in the challenging parts of the progressive rock territories. When we hit the middle part of this CD it does get more interesting however. The title track kicks off with Mellotron sounds, dual dark and light keyboard layers and majestic guitar and keyboards arrangements that add more depth and vitality to the proceedings. And while the following Circles of Life does open in a more cliched manner with frail piano and saxophone it develops into quite the tantalizing creation when harder edged guitars are given a dominant position, with a nifty guitars and saxophone combination that sounds a lot better than what you'd imagine. Arguably the best song on this CD, and I can understand why the band has chosen to include a shorter, edited version of it at the end of this disc. The two songs that conclude the album, Welcome to My New World and The Snow, don't quite manage to add anything substantial to this production, although the last three or so minutes of the latter is a clear album highlight as far as individual sequences go with their more intense sound and high energy approach. The main challenge with this album is, I guess, that it doesn't manage to excel. Neo progressive rock is an expression many have explored over the years, and while there's nothing substantially substandard about this particular production there's really not too much that shines all that brightly either. A good quality production that will appeal to a specific audience, but with a limited reach beyond that.

Conclusion. The No Name Experience is the only Luxemburg band I know that has chosen to explore progressive rock, and their take on the genre is one that has neo progressive written all over it in bold types. If you have a soft spot for Fish-era Marillion and bands of a similar kind, and you do enjoy late 70's Genesis as well, chances are that you'll find "The Clock That Went Backwards" to be a compelling production well worth spending some time with.

OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: September 8, 2014
The Rating Room


Related Links:

Progressive Promotion Records
The No Name Experience


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