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(30:24; Think Tank Media)
Back in 1998 I had not long changed jobs when I suffered an incredibly serious motorbike accident. After being off work for six weeks I needed to start work again, but it was obvious that for the foreseeable future that would mean working from home. I couldn’t drive as I had broken my right arm in six places, and was in a great deal of pain. But my company delivered my laptop to me, and each morning I would dial in to the mainframe and write code using my left hand, which was incredibly time consuming, but it got me back into the swing of things. I would get frustrated, and when code was running I could do nothing expect stare at the green screen, so I used to play a music video on the TV to maintain my sanity. That video was ‘Earth Below and Sky Above’, and I hate to think how many times I watched it in late 1998. I loved the skill and music from Rocket Scientists, and it also introduced me to Lana Lane. I lost touch with the band after 1999’s ‘Oblivion Days’, so missed 2006’s ‘Revolution Roads’ altogether, but when I was asked if I would be interested in hearing their 2014 EP I jumped at it. Just two instrumentals, but when one is well over 25 minutes long and the other is their interpretation of a James Bond film theme what could go wrong? Absolutely nothing. Keyboard player Erik Norlander is still there of course, along with guitarist Mark McCrite and NS/Stick player and cellist Don Schiff. There are a few guests to help them along their way, but musically this is very much built around the interaction of these three. All three of them take the opportunity to lead the band, with the symphonic music flowing and floating, layered and wonderful, just like it used to be. This is complex progressive rock music that feels so very natural, with no effort required. I have yet to hear the album that was released at the same time, and since then Norlander has been working very closely with John Payne, but let’s hope there isn’t too long until the next Rocket Scientists release as this shows how great musicians can interact and have fun.
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