Cranium Pie "Mechanisms Part 2" (Fruits de Mer, 2015)
I have to open this review by confessing that while I am in no way averse to prog rock, I am not an aficionado of the genre. Another scribe more knowledgeable about this musical terrain would be better able to compare the album to others of its kind. But what I hear as I listen through to the four long tracks (each in the 19 minute range) is a swirling, adventurous romp that could be the soundtrack to an experimental film, either something like one of Jess Franco’s surreal works or a title like a Herzog feature. The sound is heavy on instrumentation but there is an occasional bit of singing, as well as odd spoken word and treated vocal parts. The third track has a dreamy vocal melody and some pretty guitar work, and could be something off a Pink Floyd album such as Meddle. Other segments sound like pieces that might accompany a monster movie sequence. There’s some funky scratchy guitar parts along the way, a whole word of spiraling Hammond organ play, and the occasional tricky sound effects touch. The whole goes through its various changes, sometimes coming off as playful and other times as eerie, but there is a consistent tone throughout the seventy-plus minutes. I’m not a prog head yet I find this to be an engaging and enjoyable listen; my guess is that anyone with a strong affinity for this type of approach will be fully enamored of the album.
Review made by Brian Greene/2015
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