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(56:56; Mojo Music)
Peak were an Adelaide-based progressive electronic rock band based around two multi-instrumentalists Robert Reekes-Parsons and Paul Fisher, who along with some guests on drums released ‘Ebondazzar’ back in 1980. Did I say “were”? I guess I should amend that to “are” as only 38 years on from the debut the guys have been joined by bassist Colin Forster and are back with their second album, ‘Slizdexics Untie’. I have yet to hear the debut, but as the guys are planning to be soon release a remastered version, I am hoping to rectify that in the near future if it is anything like this which is a very interesting album indeed. Heavily influenced by krautrock and Tangerine Dream in particular with Kraftwerk here and there, there are also plenty of Floydian touches especially from the ‘Meddle’ period, but the guitar is often more strident and dominant than one normally expects from Gilmour with more of rock edge. Keyboards provide the backdrop, often with repeated melody lines, which allows Paul’s guitar to be dominant and drive proceedings forward. For something which contains so many layers of keyboards it is surprisingly heavy in many ways. Peak only had a bassist on one number on the debut, but Forster’s role in this album cannot be understated as he is very much an important part of the overall sound, sitting in the middle ground between keyboards and guitar, linking the two together so they combine as oppose to acting as individuals. There are some vocals on the album, but they are used mostly in an instrumental sense, and the overall feeling is of something quite experimental which wouldn’t have sounded out of place in Berlin more than 40 years ago. There aren’t many bands who release albums with such a gap in between, let alone produce something which is so enjoyable and easy to listen to. Songs like “Trains” are just great fun, with keyboards and bass running down the tracks and guitar all over the top making a mess of things. The combination of structure on one side and freedom on the other is what makes this such an accessible and fun album from beginning to end. Let’s hope it isn’t so long until the third.
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