1st review of 2019 goes to Quantum Pig. Their Album is called Songs of Industry and Sunshine. 7 songs, all tasty treats.
The music is created by Ian Faragher and Mark Stevenson with a little help from 2 guys I am not too familiar with. Some guys named John Mitchell and Craig Blundell.
HAH! I KID!
Yes, the Craig Blundell and John Mitchell. You know, from Lonely Robot, Steven Wilson, FROST* and a multitude of other legendary bands. John is a monster guitar player and singer (yes John, you have a lovely voice) and Mr. Blundell is one of the most gifted drummers on earth right now.
But enough of those fellas. Lets talk about Ian and Mark.
The 7 songs on this album are pretty much all over the road map of genre’s. “The prog band that is not a Prog band” is a perfect explanation for Quantum Pig. You can hear quite a few influences on these 7 tracks. There are a few nice spices in this that make for a tasty listen. Prog, pop, rock, ambient, post rock, punk and jazz influence this tasty stew of songs making it quite an enjoyable listen from starts to finish. A 7 course meal that will fill your brain with memorable melodies and tones but leaving you wanting more.
The vocals have a “biting the tongue” sarcastic that fits in harmony with the music. A hint of Roger Waters and Steve Hogarth on occasion makes for the biting vocals and the lyrics lead to that.
Musically, the fellas are on the top of their game. From heavy riffage at the start of Statement of Intent to the droning ambient bits sprinkled within, the album is always interesting and well plated.
- Statement of Intent: The track opens with Mr. Blundell’s monster drums and a heavy guitar riff that is quite excellent. Keyboards like salt and pepper add to the flavor of the opening riff. “There go the ice caps, but at least we got a couple of submarines” is an example of the biting lyrics in this tune. A nice trippy keyboard solo highlights the late middle section of the tune. A lovely start to an album.
- Citizen and State: Spacy keys and guitars open this quick blast of a song. A lovely punk style anthem of a tune including some shouting vocals and aggressive guitar stabs. To the point and rocking for a good 3 minutes and then over.
- Long Letter Home: This epic clicks in one second short of 12 minutes. And Epic is a fine explanation. Vocals are soaring and harmonic. Keys are the highlight of this tune. Soaring is an understatement. This is Prog. Classic Prog. Old school Prog with a very fresh sound. Fresh sounding is the key. I love old Prog, but a lot of it, especially in the keyboard driven stuff of old, can get stale if it hits you wrong. This is a tip of the cap to the older style but with a very refreshing spin to it. This is a wonderful 12 minute roller coaster ride of soaring heights. The ringing guitar player starting at 3:38 are majestic and heart warming. Then the keyboard playing through the mid section of almost ambient quietness is just as majestic. Damn, I just love this song. This will be a song of the year candidate easily. Wait, it already is. Epic.
- The Shadows We Miss: Droning guitar throughout make for an interesting bed with the vocals. Do I hear a hint of Andy Partridge style vocals here? Yes I do. Adding a nice pop sounding vocal on the intertwined guitar and keys. A soaring David Gilmour style solo keeps me wanting it to continue, but vocals kick in again and that is cool. Outro with guitar, keys and gentle singing brings the song to an end. Lovely tune.
- Things: This sound has a hint of It Bites. A punk rocker with biting lyrics and agressive playing. A fun tune for sure. Get up and fling yourself into a punk frenzy!
- Keep The Nation Warm: This is another EPIC tune. It starts out slow with some lovely keys and noises and acoustic guitar. for 3:17, the song is a beauty. At 3:18, it bites you and rocks you and shocks you into another realm. At 5:18, a killer guitar solo rocks your world and doesn’t let you up until the 6:22 mark. I love this guitar solo. Massive and harmonic. Smart and lovely. this song is a monster and another song with an A ticket to song of the year.
- Dirty Old Engine: The last song on this gem. “So we gave up dancing to this tune” is the first line. Love it. As throughout the entire album, these are lyrics you want to read and take in. Smart, funny, biting, and poignant. An outstanding close to a wonderful album. Beautifully sung and presented.
Your assignment? Go buy this album. It is quite good. A Proggy Not Proggy Pop Punk collection of tunes that will keep you busy for 42 minutes and then hitting the repeat button on the player. Well done Ian and Mark. Lovely CD that my ears and brain will be snacking on for quite some time.