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It will come as no surprise to anyone to realise this is the fifth album from the American crossover progressive rock band who comprise Steve Unruh (guitars, vocals, violin, flute), Rob Winslow (bass), Barry Farrands (drums, vocals) and Fran Turner (guitars, backing vocals). All songs are credited to all four members apart from “Cricket Season”, which features just Unruh and Turner. It starts off gently with flute and acoustic guitars and is somewhat reminiscent of early Genesis before Steve lets his Anderson influences go and some of the tonguing techniques are certainly quite Tull in nature. When many people see a flute in a prog band they immediately think of Jethro Tull, while a violin will often lead them towards Kansas, but apart from the aforementioned short instrumental (less than two minutes) this is a group are very much standing on their own, with just a few similarities here and there. There are times when I was reminded somewhat of Mike Oldfield, but for the most part this is nice middle of the road lightweight prog with diverse influences combined with an AOR approach which makes it thoroughly enjoyable the first time it is played. Strangely enough, even though this is nicely accessible, the more it is played the more there is to enjoy as the guys have a great feel for the arrangements, and the addition of violin and flute means that it is not noticeable that there are no keyboards whatsoever. I do like that they keep Steve’s and Fran’s guitars in separate channels all the way through so one knows guitars on the left are Steve and on the right are Fran which allows us to hear more distinctly what each is bringing to the overall sound. They do rock when the time is right, but very much in an American fashion, and this is another album which fits in solidly with some of the bands comes out of the States in the Nineties and is a very pleasant listen indeed.
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