15 October 2016

The Kids Are Alright...

I must confess than when I read that Synaesthesia had changed their name to Kyros after one just album, I rolled my eyes... When I subsequently read that Kyros "debut" release, Vox Humana, would be a 2CD double album, I rolled my eyes again... What were these guys smoking? None of this seemed to be sensible or pragmatic for such a young band.

Well screw sensible or pragmatic, what do I know?!

Vox Humana is a masterpiece of modern progressive music, standing shoulder to shoulder with some of the recent top releases from established and veteran artists, indeed in many cases surpassing them.

First off Kyros sound so much better Synaesthesia. I liked the Synaesthesia album, it was pretty good, but Vox Humana has grabbed me in a way that I haven't musically experienced in many years. The sound is deep and beautifully rounded, the production first class. It has a modernity exemplified by its use of EDM/Dubstep influences, but retains core progressive elements and a degree of commerciality as required. I stick this album on repeat and don't get bored with it.

The nearest musical comparison I could find for Kyros, would probably be Frost*, with a dollop of Muse and an occassional dash of Marillion added for good measure, but even that doesn't really describe just how good this band and this album is.

Overall I think I can sum Vox Humana up in four words. Album of the Year.

10 October 2016

STCBM063: Save Me From the Rain

Tonight’s Sounds That Can Be Made playlist:

Konchordat - Save Me From the Rain (from Rise to Order)
Messenger - Dear Departure (from Illusory Blues)
Spock's Beard - Get Out While You Can (from The Oblivion Particle)
Darrel Treece-Birch - Legacy (from No More Time)
Nth Ascension - End of Days (from In Fine Initium)
Anathema - Pressure (from A Fine Day to Exit)
cosmograf - Relativity (from The Unreasonable Silence)
Different Light - Transient Dream (from The Burden of Paradise)
Fish - The Other Side of Me (from A Feast of Consequences)

The Eighties at 8: 
Ben Liebrand - The Eve Of The War (radio edit) (from The Eve Of The War (Remix))
Queen - Flash (single edit) (from Flash)

Feeder - Buck Rogers (from Echo Park)
Radiohead - Airbag (from OK Computer)
Sebas Honing - Ditching Fear (from The Big Shift)
Genesis - Firth of Fifth (from Selling England By The Pound)

3 October 2016

STCBM062: Beautiful Songs You Should Know

Tonight’s Sounds That Can Be Made playlist:

No-Man - Beautiful Songs You Should Know (from Schoolyard Ghosts)
Sphelm - Crystal Catcher (from These Roots Know No Boundaries)
Karda Estra - Lighthouse (from The Seas And The Stars)
Skyharbor - Blind Side (from Blind Side)
Psygnosis - Loozing Zeppelin 2.Alt (from Sublimation)
Archive - Taste of Blood (from Lights)
Galahad - Empires Never Last (Orchestral version) (from Empires Never Last vinyl)
KYROS - Dilate (from Vox Humana)
Phideaux - Helix (from Snowtorch)
The Room - Bedlam (from Beyond The Gates Of Bedlam)

The Eighties at 8: 

New Order - Blue Monday (from Blue Monday)
Uriah Heep - Think It Over (from Abominog)

Ólafur Arnalds - So Close [feat. Arnor Dan] (from Broadchurch OST)
Agent Fresco - Wait For Me (from Destrier)
The Gift - Tuesday's Child (from Why The Sea Is Salt)

27 September 2016

A Salty Gift?

The Gift release their third album, Why The Sea Is Salt, and I've been lucky enough to get an early listen courtesy of those nice Naughty Pachyderms...

Whilst some of Bad Elephant's roster are only marginally, if at all, prog, The Gift are old school prog rock front and centre and their new album is no exception. It unashamedly wears its influences proud for all to hear. From the beautiful piano intro by Gabriele Baldocci that immediately put me in mind of Barclay James Harvest to vocalist Mike Morton singing about salty dogs and giving off a definite Procol Harum vibe, the album is rooted in seventies prog but in a good way. This is further reinforced by guest spots by ex-Genesis types Steve Hackett and Anthony Phillips, as well as Tiger Moth Peter Jones who often flies that way himself.

To be honest I'm not sure why Steve Hackett was even needed. Guitarist David Lloyd adds some wonderful textures and depth to the album with some beautiful playing that makes it more substantive and enjoyable to someone like me who grew up in the Neo era and is less inclined to the middle class England of mid-seventies prog.

Why The Sea Is Salt is a really good album and a hugely enjoyable listening experience that I recommend to any prog fan. Whilst I am sure it will do very well for the band, there is a little bit of me that can't help think if it had been released in 1973 it would be regarded as a classic... :-)

26 September 2016

STCBM061: Cover Versions Special II

Tonight’s Sounds That Can Be Made playlist:

Arjen Anthony Lucassen - Welcome to Machine (Pink Floyd cover)
Cut_ - Space Oddity (David Bowie cover)
Redemption - Love Reign O’er Me (The Who cover)
Tesla the Band - Dear Mr. Fantasy (Traffic cover)
RUSH - Shape of Things (Yardbirds cover)
The Reasoning - The Chauffeur (Duran Duran cover)
Sonata Arctica - World in My Eyes (Depeche Mode cover)
Opeth - Soldier of Fortune (Deep Purple cover)
Ray Wilson - Biko (Peter Gabriel cover)
Foo Fighters - Have a Cigar (Pink Floyd cover)
Pat Benatar - Don’t Let it Show (Alan Parsons Project cover)
Jordan Rudess - Dance on a Volcano (Genesis cover)
Disturbed - Land of Confusion (Genesis cover)
The Eighties at 8:
Voivod - Astronomy Domine (Pink Floyd cover)
Iron Maiden - King of Twilight (Nektar cover)
Grey DeLisle - Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen cover)
Dream Theater - Larks Tongues In Aspic Pt.2 (King Crimson cover)
GWAR - Carry On My Wayward Son (Kansas cover)

25 September 2016

Who Stole The Pineapple Thief?

This is a whinge I admit, but a justified one I think. The Pineapple Thief recently announced their Your Wilderness tour that will be happening in the New Year. Now I am a big fan of The Pineapple Thief, as you will see from the blog tags they get played a lot on my internet radio show and I certainly do not begrudge Bruce Soord any of the deserved success that is long overdue, but let's talk tour dates, more importantly gig locations.

The Pineapple Thief, Bristol, December 2014

Unlike previous tours Great Britain is getting just three dates, Glasgow, Manchester and London. The venues aren't massive but for a band born in the south-west of England, there appears a gaping geographical hole in the itinerary (well two if we are being fair).

No doubt someone, somewhere thought the London gig will cover the south and the Manchester one the midlands and north. Clearly someone who doesn't appreciate a non-Londoners dislike to the big, confusing, noisy alien capital, the cost of public transport or just how long it would take fans in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset (and South Wales) to get to London with its congestion charges, strange parking restrictions and maze of roads.

It's not just this tour, the south-west is increasing getting the short straw by many prog bands (though oddly not prog metal bands) and for many they seem to draw a line from Manchester to London and ignore everything to the west of that line.

Yes this is a whinge but is it really too much to suggest bands do a minimum of five dates in Britain, one south-east, one south-west/Wales, one north-west/midlands, one north-east/midlands and one Scotland (we all have suitable venues)? I'm sure someone will mumble that you'd make the effort if you really wanted to go or the cost to the bands, but that's lazy arguing. Other, similar sized artists manage to do it and it is not always practical to be getting home at 3am on a work night (and London? Ugh!)

Yep, that still means some traveling but as Bruce knows getting anywhere from Yeovil is a pain in the arse, making that anywhere the other side of the country (and back) shows limited consideration of fans in the south west (and north east).

23 September 2016

Pass the Kool-aid

Well the much hyped and much leaked 18th studio album by Marillion, F.E.A.R. (Fuck Everyone and Run), has been released to a much expected level of frothing* by some uber-fans and music journalists. "The best thing since Brave", "Their best ever!" they exclaim (including a review in a Fleet Street broadsheet). Well it isn't...

I've been a Marillion fan since 1983, I like most of the band's releases and, in my opinion, think there are some classics in there. Will F.E.A.R. be amongst them? Well come back in a few years and let's see, it is ridiculous to rush to make such conclusions in the short space of time it has been available (even if we count the time it has been around illegally).

This time we have an edgy political "concept" album, in the same edgy vein as Gaza off the last album. In fact in many respects it is almost Gaza the album. The subject matter might be closer to home, but it has that vibe. Indeed it feels like the band have identified the best bits off the last few albums, tweaked them a bit and released them on the public. This does not mean it is a bad album, but the sound is very familiar, Hogarth's singing styles are similar to those he has used on the last couple of releases (a mix of whispering to an occasional full on H).

Overall I like the album, but I am not loving it. There is no stand out track like Neverland or even When I Meet God and it certainly is not on a par with Misplaced Childhood or Brave. Where does it rank? I don't know and to be honest I don't care. The proof in the pudding will be whether it is a "go to" album in six months time or be largely forgotten (Marillion.com I'm looking at you).

*and to an extent the naysayers who think everything Marillion does is boring and have to say so...

19 September 2016

STCBM060: Keelhauled!

Tonight’s Sounds That Can Be Made playlist:

Alestorm - Keelhauled (from Black Sails At Midnight)
The Mute Gods - Last Man on Earth (from Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me)
Ben Craven - The Remarkable Man (from Last Chance To Hear)
The Enid - The Demon King (from In The Region Of The Summer Stars)
Gary Numan - Love Hurt Bleed (from Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind))
Galahad - Sleepers (from Sleepers)
The Butterfly Effect - In A Memory (from Imago)
Plini- Every Piece Matters (from Handmade Cities)
John Wesley - Once A Warrior (from Disconnect)
The Pineapple Thief - Take Your Shot (from Your Wilderness)

The Eighties at 8: 

Pink Floyd - Not Now John (single version) (from The Final Cut)
Genesis - Tonight, Tonight, Tonight (from Invisible Touch)

Damian Wilson & Adam Wakeman - God Be My Judge (from Weir Keeper's Tale)
HEADSPACE - Road to Supremacy (from All That You Fear is Gone)
Damian Wilson - Battlelines (from Built for Fighting)
Devin Townsend Project - Secret Sciences (from Transcendence)

12 September 2016

STCBM059: Everlasting

Tonight’s Sounds That Can Be Made playlist:

Dec Burke - Everlasting (from Book of Secrets)
Jadis  - Please Open Your Eyes (from Photoplay)
Riverside - Found (The Unexpected Flaw Of Searching) (from Love, Fear And The Time Machine)
Cailyn - Pale Blue Dot (form Voyager)
Comedy Of Errors - Remembrance (form Fanfare & Fantasy)
Casino - Crap Game (from Casino)
Egdon Heath - No Second Faust (from The Killing Silence)
Bruce Soord - Born in Delusion (from Bruce Soord)
Magenta - Raw (from Chameleon)
M83 - Unrecorded (from Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts)
IO Earth - Mountains Start to Fall (from IO Earth)
Captain Horizon - The Light (from The Lights of Distorted Silence)
It Bites - Map of the Past (from Map of the Past)

The Eighties at 8:

Hazel O’Connor - Will You? (from Breaking Glass)
IQ - The Wake (from The Wake)

Mauricio Ibáñez - Sepia Leaves (from Shades of Light & Darkness)
Verbal Delirium - Words (from The Imprisoned Words of Fear)
Anubis - This Final Resting Place (from A Tower of Silence)

5 September 2016

STCBM058: The City of My Dreams

Tonight’s Sounds That Can Be Made playlist:

Mike Kershaw - The City Of My Dreams (from What Lies Beneath)
Knifeworld - Secret Words (from Bottled Out of Eden)
Birdeatsbaby - Scars (from Tanta Furia)
Threshold - Clear (from Extinct Instinct)
League of Lights - Cover Me Now (from League of Lights)
Solar - In A Dark Place (from Dark Places)
Arena - Smoke and Mirrors (from Pepper’s Ghost)
Massive Attack - Teardrop (from Mezzanine)
Archive - Bullets (from Controlling Crowds (Parts I-III))
Public Service Broadcasting - The Other Side (from The Race For Space)
Cairo - Searching (from Say)
Porcupine Tree - Nine Cats (from On The Sunday Of Life…)

The Eighties at 8:
Marillion - Fugazi (from Fugazi)
Peter Gabriel - Red Rain (from So)

Rush - Seven Cities Of Gold (from Clockwork Angels)
Maschine - Venga (from Rubidium)
Saul Blease - Hollow (from Hollow)

29 August 2016

STCBM057: Summer Bank Holiday Special

Tonight’s Sounds That Can Be Made playlist:

Amplifier - One Great Summer (from Amplifier)
Ray Wilson - Beach (from Change)
Stiltskin - Summer Days (from She)
Gazpacho - Beach House (from When Earth Lets Go)
Anathema - Summer Night Horizon (from We're Here Because We're Here)
Archive - Love in Summer (from Take My Head)
Asia - Summer (from Aria)
Crimson Sky - The Sea (from Misunderstood)
The Pineapple Thief - Warm Seas (from All the Wars)
Von Hertzen Brothers - Down By The Sea (from Stars Aligned)
Panic Room - Sunshine (from Satellite)
Blackfield - Summer (from Blackfield)

The Eighties at 8:

Black Sabbath - Children of the Sea (from Heaven and Hell)
Genesis - Home by the Sea (from Genesis)

Matt Stevens - Sand (Part 2) (from Relic)
Savatage - Summer’s Rain (from Gutter Ballet)
Voyager - Summer Always Comes Again (from V)
Scorpions - Holiday (from Lovedrive)
Queen - Seven Seas Of Rhye (from Queen)

22 August 2016

STCBM056: Transient Dream

Tonight’s Sounds That Can Be Made playlist:

Different Light - Transient Dream (from The Burden of Paradise)
Gazpacho - When Earth Lets Go (from When Earth Lets Go)
Pendragon - The Voyager (from The World)
65daysofstatic - Asimov (from No Man's Sky: Music For An Infinite Universe)
How To Destroy Angels - The Space In Between (from How To Destroy Angels)
The Ben Cameron Project - A Cycle Never Ending (from A Cycle Never Ending)

The Eighties at 8:
David Bowie - Ashes to Ashes (from Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) )
Geoff Mann - Green Paper Snow (from I May Sing Grace)

Pink Floyd - Comfortably Numb (from The Wall)
Verbal Delirium - They (from So Close And Yet So Far Away)
The Pineapple Thief - The Final Thing On My Mind (from Your Wilderness)

15 August 2016

STCBM055: ArcTanGent 2016 Special

Tonight’s Sounds That Can Be Made ArcTanGentspecial playlist:

Knifeworld - I Am Lost (from Bottled Out of Eden)
Cleft - 12 Second Panda (from Bosh!)
Animals As Leaders - The Future That Awaited Me (from The Joy of Motion)
American Football - Never Meant (from American Football)
Caspian - Sad Heart of Mine (from Dust and Disquiet)
Arcane Roots - If Nothing Breaks, Nothing Moves (from Heaven & Earth)
Agent Fresco - Eyes of a Cloud Catcher (from A Long Time Listening)
And So I Watch You From Afar - A Little Solidarity Goes A Long Way (from And So I Watch You From Afar)
Hexvessel - Cosmic Truth (from When We Are Death)
Nordic Giants - A Thousand Lost Dreams (from A Séance of Dark Delusions)
MONO (Japan) - Dream Odyssey (from For My Parents)
toe - My Little Wish (from Hear You)
Rolo Tomassi- Opalescent (from Grievances)
Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Rockets Fall On Rocket Falls (from Yanqui U.X.O)

8 August 2016

STCBM054: Are We Copies?

Tonight’s Sounds That Can Be Made playlist:

Lonely Robot - Are We Copies? (from Please Come Home)
Amplifier - O Fortuna (from Insider)
Hedfuzy - Snakes (from Hedfuzy)
The Skys - Lethal Kiss (from Colors of the Desert)
Emma Ruth Rundle - Marked For Death (from Marked For Death)
Mostly Autumn - Distant Train / Answer The Question (from Passengers)
Odin Dragonfly - Web (from Offerings)
Archive - Words on Signs (from Controlling Crowds (Parts I-III))
Karda Estra - The Projected Future (from Constellations)
Whitewater - End of Days (from Slipstream)
Lone Star - The Bells of Berlin (from Firing On All Six)

The Eighties at 8:
Pallas - Stranger (from The Wedge)
W.A.S.P. - Forever Free (from The Headless Children)

Stiltskin - Guns of God (from Unfulfillment)
Sylvan - No Way Out (from Encounters)
Spock's Beard - The Ballet of the Impact (from Octane)

1 August 2016

STCBM053: First Birthday Show!

Tonight’s Sounds That Can Be Made birthday playlist:

Cozy Powell - Over The Top (from Over The Top)
The Pineapple Thief- Nothing At best (from Someone Here is Missing)
The Reasoning - Aching Hunger (from Awakening)
Porcupine Tree - Open Car (from Dead Wing)
Frost* - No Me No You (from Milliontown)
Galahad - Termination (from Empires Never Last)
Fish - Square Go (from 13th Star)
Pendragon - Nostradamus (Stargazing) (from The Window of Life)

The Eighties at 8:

Magnum - Soldier of the Line (from Chase the Dragon)
Marillion - Forgotten Sons (from Script For A Jester's Tear)
Twelfth Night - We Are Sane (from Fact and Fiction) - for Angela

Rainbow - Stargazer (from Rising)
Pink Floyd - High Hopes (from The Division Bell)

25 July 2016

STCBM052: Discordant Dreams

Tonight’s Sounds That Can Be Made playlist:

Touchstone - Discordant Dreams (from Discordant Dreams)
Frost* - Signs (from Falling Satellites)
Airbag - Slave (from Disconnected)
Harvest - Rush (from Northern Wind)
Rush - The Way The Wind Blows (from Snakes & Arrows)
Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here (from Wish You Were Here)
Nine Stones Close - Complicated (from Leaves)
Grey Lady Down - Shattered (from Star-Crossed)
Different Light - Voice of Outside (from The Burden of Paradise)
We Are Kin - Radio (from …and I know…)

The Eighties at 8:

Falco - Rock Me Amadeus (Ihn Liebten Alle Frauen…) (from Falco 3)
Twelfth Night - The Ceiling Speaks (from CBS Demos)

Pure Reason Revolution - Bloodless (from Amor Vincit Omnia)
Agent Fresco - Mono No Aware (from Destrier)
The Pineapple Thief - No Man’s Land (from Your Wilderness)

18 July 2016

STCBM051: The Tall Ships

Tonight’s Sounds That Can Be Made playlist:

Magnum- The Tall Ships (from Rock Art)
Anubis - Silent Wandering Ghosts (from Hitchhiking To Byzantium)
Plini - Wombat Astronaut (Beyond The Burrow)
Paradigm Shift - Reunification (from Becoming Aware)
AudioPlastik - The Sound of Isolation (from In the Head of a Maniac)
TILT- Growing Colder (from Hinterland)
Ray Wilson - Cold Light of Day (from Song For a Friend)
Genesis - Watcher of the Skies (from Foxtrot)
Gazpacho - Know Your Time (from Molok)
Katatonia - Old Heart Falls (from The Fall of Hearts)

The Eighties at 8:

The Michael Schenker Group - Desert Song (from Assault Attack)
Jethro Tull - Beastie (from The Broadsword And The Beast)

Steven Wilson - Year of the Plague (from 4 ½)
RPWL - Bound to Reach the End (from World Through My Eyes)
Echolyn - Messenger of All's Right (from I Heard You Listening)

11 July 2016

STCBM050: Fifty, Not Out!

Tonight’s Sounds That Can Be Made playlist:

The SKYS - Calling Out Your Name (from Colors of the Desert)
No-man - Wherever There Is Light (from Schoolyard Ghosts)
Pendragon - Passion (from Passion)
Grus Paridae - Inheritance of Devotion (from Passes By)
Yes - Yours is No Disgrace (from The Yes Album)
Kula Shaker - Peter Pan R.I.P. (from Pilgrim’s Progress)
Tinyfish - Build Your Own Enemy (from Tinyfish)
Francis Dunnery - Vampires (from Vampires)
cosmograf - RGB (from The Unreasonable Silence)
We Are Kin- Reaper (from ...and I know…)

The Eighties at 8:
Visage - Fade to Grey (from Fade to Grey)
Porcupine Tree - And The Swallows Dance Above The Sun (from The Love, Death And Mussolini EP)

Airbag - Sleepwalker (from Disconnected)
Arena - Opera Fanatica (from Pepper’s Ghost)

4 July 2016

STCBM049: 4th July Special

Tonight’s Sounds That Can Be Made playlist:

Heliopolis - New Frontier (from City of the Sun)
Glass Hammer - Sand (from The Breaking of the World)
Devin Townsend Project - Coast (from Ki)
Discipline. - Circuitry (from To Shatter All Accord)
District 97 - The Actual Color (from Trouble with Machines)
Kansas - Carry On Wayward Son (from Leftoverture)
Shaolin Death Squad - Tale of the Peacock (from As You Become Us)
Spock's Beard - In the Mouth of Madness (from The Kindness of Strangers)
Neal Morse - Heaven in my Heart (from Sola Scriptura)
Savatage - This Isn’t What We Meant (from Dead Winter Dead)

The Eighties at 8:
Styx - Mr Roboto (from Kilroy Was Here)
Blue Oyster Cult - Veteran of the Psychic Wars (from Fire of Unknown Origin)

Echolyn - Love, Why Weren't You Missed (from I Heard You Listening)
3 - Been to the Future (from The End is Begun)
Dream Theater - Pull Me Under (from Images and Words)
Ben Nichols - The Last Pale Light in the West (from The Last Pale Light in the West)
Iced Earth - The Star-Spangled Banner (from The Glorious Burden)