Reviews roundup – Aqua Nebula Oscillator vs. Intelligent Music Project III vs. Lightning Rules vs. Get Well Soon
AQUA NEBULA OSCILLATOR
Well, that’s a catchy name, isn’t it. MInd you, better than Satan! Satan! Satan!
Now I’m neither confirming nor denying their stance on the fallen angel. Mainly because I once crossed a southern hemisphere chapter of that ilk, and I’ve been ducking and diving ever since. But they certainly seem keen on the chap.
And to demonstrate that, they’ve set about their chosen medium of dark, electronic psychedelia. Led by multi-instrumentalist David Sphaèr’os, they’re more than happy to throw in some Hawkwind riffs and a pile of Krautrock to lively themselves up on tunes like ‘Spiritus Mundi’.
It’s certainly an engaging noise, although if you’re new to them, this live album might be a bit too dense to be your first step. And I’ll be having a few sleepless nights and some conversations with my priest after having listened to the demented ‘Lucifer’ more than once. Scary.
INTELLIGENT MUSIC PROJECT III
Touching The Divine
Just over a year ago, I reviewed the second album from IMP, saying “It’s an album that would have sat happily on an adult contemporary station in the seventies, with light jazz licks, MOR harmonies and melodies, and uplifting lyrics”.
I also used the phrase happy-clappy, and not in a good way. And, to be honest, this is more of the same. There is no doubting the quality of the musicianship, with a core band of session legends Simon Phillips, Tim Pierce and Nathan East. Add in some vocals from John Payne (ex-Asia) and Toto’s Joseph Williams, and you’ve got some good vibes going.
The Project remains the idea of producer and composer Dr. Milen Vrabevski, and if you yearn for the glory days of soft rock, then you’ll have a lot of time for this. Personally, the songs don’t always work for me, but the likes of ‘Opening’ and ‘We Can’ will appeal to those of you who think that a Steve Perry solo album is a bit too hard edged for you.
There’s rock. There’s roll. And there’s rawk ‘n’roll! This is the latter. In fact, you probably can’t do better than their own description, which is “an aircraft carrier worth of riffs shoved into a 5-song EP”. Rawk.
It’s the debut offering from US outfit, Lightning Rules, and they do like blast out some Clutch tinged stoner desert groove rock. And there is nothing wrong with that. Even better, they’ve done the sensible thing and went down the EP route, rather than torment us with a so so album. I’d rather have a quarter of an hour with my balls pinned to the wall than eighty minutes of tedium.
For a three piece band, they make a helluva noise, and there isn’t really a bum track here. Granted, the last couple don’t live up to ‘Corsicana, 1894’ and ‘Degrees & Separation’, but if you’re looking for a cracking new band, then give Lightning Rules a punt.
GET WELL SOON
I must admit to thinking this was called Get Well Soon, Love. Try it in a Yorkshire accent. Turns out that this is the latest release from German singer, songwriter and instrumentalist Konstantin Gropper.
He takes his influences from the likes of folk, classical music and film soundtracks, but comes out sounding an awful lot like Elbow. Now that is something that a lot of the listening public seem to like. It’s just not my cup of tea.
So what you are getting is some widescreen indie-pop, which is very easy on the ear. Musically, his collaborators put on a good show, but it’s the kind of thing that just goes over my head. If you’re in the habit of reading Mojo magazine rather than this website, then you’ll probably find a great deal to enjoy here.