Review – The Aaron Clift Experiment – If All Goes Wrong – by Progradar

“Intricate and subtle yet with raw passion at its heart, The Aaron Clift Experiment is one of the most exciting and interesting bands currently writing and playing music today.”

Now, I said those words about The Aaron Clift Experiment’s debut album from 2012, ‘Lonely Hills’ and the band went from strength to strength with their impressive follow up, 2015’s ‘Outer Light, Inner Darkness’ that increased the quota of high energy hard rock based progressive music.

2018 sees these Austin, Texas natives deliver their third album, ‘If All Goes Wrong’ and, after the increasing promise of the first two albums, it was one I was very much looking forward to hearing for the first time…

Formed in 2012 as the solo project of Aaron Clift, the band has since blossomed into a powerful live group.  The group’s multi-faceted sound is an innovative blend of classic rock, modern rock, and classical all anchored by the band’s dedication to high-quality songwriting and musicianship.

Its last two albums, 2012’s ‘Lonely Hills’ and 2015’s ‘Outer Light, Inner Darkness’ were critically-acclaimed progressive rock achievements, landing on several year-end best album lists.  In 2017, the band had a star-making performance at RosFest, one of the largest progressive rock festivals in the world.

The core members are Aaron Clift – Vocals/Keyboards, Devin North – Bass and Tim Smith – Drums and Percussion and the new album sees contributions from some of the top guitarists in Austin, Van Wilks (a Texas blues and rock icon), Arielle (a student of Brian May of Queen and collaborator of legendary guitarist, Eric Johnson), and Dave North (of Austin psych rockers, The Cuckoos).

What I’ve always found with, and loved about, The Aaron Clift Experiment is the rock element to their music, varying from hard rock to a very fluent blues guitar style, it gives them a quite unique sound and added to Aaron’s husky and raw vocal delivery, you wouldn’t mistake them for anyone else.

The first two songs on this new release, Faith and Last Crash are full of that harder edged riffing guitar and dynamic drums that combine to give a high energy delivery. Where the former is upbeat, the latter has a darker hue to it, Faith taking cues from many almost balls-out rockers. You immediately get into the band’s mindset and groove with this really invigorating, raw feeling song. Last Crash subtly builds up the tension with some excellent synth and bass guitar work before a driving riff and high octane drums give it that impending feel of apprehension. Aaron delivers an immediate vocal, impassioned and edgy and the squirreling guitar breaks really add some zeal and animation to the organised chaos.

The band take on a more pastoral and progressive style for  Absent Lovers, a delightfully wistful opening blossoms into a compelling tour-de-force that ebbs and flows irresistibly throughout. The organic synth sound adds a real 70’s aura that blends perfectly with vocal harmonies and potent guitars to take you on an enthralling musical journey. Remember Ben Folds ? The truly addictive vibes of Better Off Before certainly remind me of that piano heavy, almost pop-prog sound. It’s a real feelgood sounding song with a a not particularly upbeat subject. A Brian May-esque guitar sound and the energetic rhythm section give it real polish and gloss and make it one of my favourite songs on the album.

Funky guitars, swirling keyboards and high-tempo drums all combine to give us the jazz-fusion intro to another grin inducing track. Castle In The Sky takes what I would call the signature Aaron Clift Experiment sound and adds even more zest and vivacity to deliver a high energy song full of catchy hooks and intricate melodies and one that showcases the musician’s skills perfectly. Have you ever wondered what would happen if Aaron Clift met King Crimson and they jammed together? Well, wonder no more for Savage In A Fancy suit will give you the definitive answer to that (never asked) question. An almost disorganised, chaotic frenzy of riffs and caustic Hammond Organ notes entwined with staccato drumming and a discordant bassline. It shouldn’t work really but it does and what a thoroughly enjoyably manic track it is.

Returning to the elegant and nostalgic pastoral tones, Dream Within a Dream is The Aaron Clift Experiment at their progressive best. Melancholic undertones give a pensive and sombre atmosphere to this impressive song. The music has an anticipatory feel and Aaron’s vocal almost pleads into the microphone. An intelligent and immersive eight minutes of music that hits the highs but also has an underlying seriousness that makes you take in every nuance and subtlety, oh and the guitar solo that closes out the song is pure genius! Fiery, edgy and with an almost pop-punk feel to it, Wild Hunters is an aggressive, lively and spirited track that fills a hell of a lot into its sub three minute running time. It’s almost like it rocks up, slaps you in the face, kicks you in the knee and then disappears into the distance laughing manically.

The final track on the album is a wonderful piece of music that just oozes class, warmth and emotion. Title track If All Goes Wrong really gets under your skin with its mournful vocal and elegant string-like synths. There’s a beauty to be found in its sorrowful and forlorn quality, the guitar solo just bleeds a melancholy passion that proves there is allurement even in sadness, it is a fantastic finish to the album.

‘If All Goes Wrong’ sees this impressive ‘Prog Ensemble’ rise to even higher heights. I’ve been a fan of The Aaron Clift Experiment since I heard their first album nearly six years ago and, like a fine wine, they just mature and get better and better as time goes on. They’ve enriched and diversified their already impressive songwriting and musical skills to make them one of the most impressive progressive acts currently on the scene.

Released 4th May 2018

If All Goes Wrong Pre-order Campaign

 

Magnum – Lost On The Road To Eternity – New Tour Dates Added

Legendary British rock band Magnum celebrated the release of their 20th Studio album ‘Lost On The Road To Eternity’ with a multi-date European tour and they have announced a further seven dates in November 2018.

Magnum Tour Dates November 2018

22/11/18 – Liquid Rooms, Edinburgh, Ticket link 
23/11/18 – Winterstorm, Troon, Festival website link
24/11/18 – Riverside, Newcastle, Ticket link
25/11/18 – Plug, Sheffield, Ticket link
27/11/18 – Waterfront, Norwich, Ticket link
28/11/18 – Robin 2, Bilston, Ticket link
30/11/18 – Gargarin 205, Athens, Gargarin 205 website

Magnum Official Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/groups/MagnumOfficial/
Magnum Official Twitter – https://twitter.com/Magnumonline_
Magnum Official Merchandise – www.facebook.com/magnummerch
Magnum Official Website – www.magnumonline.co.uk

 

Review – Plenty – It Could Be Home – By James R. Turner

I think Mabel Greer’s Toyshop probably have the record for the longest space between being formed and releasing their debut album, however Plenty are running them a close second, originally being formed back in 1986, and with this, their old material rediscovered, reworked and released here for the first time, it’s an album that’s only been 32 years in the making. Hell, I work with people younger than that (which makes me feel old). Anyhow why should a band who didn’t record anything in the 80’s and reappear here matter?

It matters because Plenty were Tim Bowness pre No-Man band. Made of Tim, Brian Hulse (keys/synths/guitars, drum programming) and David K Jones (bass/bass pedals) who got back together to record and finally put down their music for posterity. All this complete with the Carl Glover cover (he truly is the Hipgnosis of modern music).

So, what we get here is the songs of their youth revisited and reworked with the wisdom of years and experience weighing on them.

Now Tim has one of the finest voices in contemporary music, that is a given, and he can add poignancy and emotion to so many things, hell he could even turn my shopping list into an emotional rollercoaster. As he (as we all have) gets older his voice, like a fine wine, is maturing and it’s fascinating to hear the words of his youth on tracks like As Tears Go By or Foolish Waking, and the title track, filtered through the years of experience.

Sitting firmly on the more atmospheric song writing side of the 80’s that threw up bands like The Blue Nile, How We Live and Miracle Mile, Plenty are almost the proving ground for ideas and sounds that would come to fruition in No-Man (and, indeed, Tim’s later solo career).

That doesn’t mean that this album is a historical curio, to be filed away under listen once out of completists interest, oh no, ‘It Could Be Home’ is a gem of a record with a plethora of special guests that help enhance the already strong tracks on here. When you get Michael Bearpark adding his guitar work to Foolish Waking and Every Stranger’s Voice and Pete Chilvers on those and Never Needing, you know you’re listening to an album that oozes class and quality from every musical moment.

In fact, as these 10 tracks breathe and grow, you are drawn into their world as Bowness’ vocals take you on their journey. However this isn’t all about Tim, this is a true group album and it’s wonderful to hear him part of the group where he cut his teeth.

It’s an interesting hybrid of 1980’s musical ideas with 2018’s production techniques and that makes it harder to categorize. Is it a reissue? Is it a new album? Or is it a curious amalgam of the two? Either way, there’s lots here for any fan of ambient song writing and, of course, fans of Tim’s voice to love.

It’s quite ironic to think that had this been released in the late 1980’s it probably would have got lost in the whole Madchester phase that was sweeping the nation and become a cult classic to maybe a dozen students in a bedsit somewhere, with the vinyl commanding huge prices on eBay.

Here, on release it’s now likely to hit a far wider audience, who will appreciate the delicacy and beauty in these songs, as well as the song writing skills here.

This is one of those albums that slowly insinuates itself into your soul until you find yourself humming sections of it to yourself as you’re filling up the kettle and is one of those albums that Tim perfected with No-Man, where the space in between the music is just as important.

As an exercise in minimalist pop/rock it works to perfection and reveals itself to be far more than just a nostalgia ride, this is living breathing music for the heart, mind and soul, and as such is a fantastic piece of music.

The best things in life come to those who wait, and this was well worth waiting for, maybe best not leave it so long next time chaps.

Released 27th April 2018

Order ‘It Could Be Home’ from Burning Shed here

Live Review – Marillion at York Barbican 22nd April 2018 – by Progradar

“Play Seasons End, play Seasons End, please.play.Seasons.End…Fuck, they’re playing Seasons End!!”

And that, my friends, made what was already an incredible, emotive and stunning gig by one of my all time favourite bands the best gig I’ve ever been to. Yes, it was that bloody good!

Now I know I’m a lucky sod, I get to go to all sorts of live music events for free just because I write (hopefully, pretty well) about them but this was something different. I’d gone with one of my oldest friends (and a Marillion gig virgin) and we were meeting my great friend Iain Sloan of Wynntown Marshals and Abel Ganz fame (to name but two!), who had made the long journey down from North of the border, for a quiet beer or two before the show (see picture above).

York Barbican is a great venue, quite intimate while also having a very decent capacity and brilliant sound. This created a suitably intense atmosphere as the crowd built awaiting the support act Roxanne de Bastion. This talented singer/songwriter came on to a big round of applause from an already three quarters full venue.

Roxanne had broken her left ankle before the tour began but took it all in her stride as she sang her haunting and beguiling songs with more than a flavour of roots music to them. With stories garnered from personal experience she managed to keep the attention of the crowd and her voice and pared back, simple guitar and piano playing were pretty impressive. The only issue for me being that she did look slightly out place on her own in what is quite a big venue, not that this affected her performing in any way. As an appetite whetter before the main event, I was very impressed and this gifted musician is one I will be seeking out in the future.

A quick nip back to the bar to re-imbibe before the anticipated brilliance of Marillion

A dynamic and powerful opening salvo of El Dorado got the crowd going immediately and you sensed that the band were on good form as an ebullient Steve Hogarth prowled around the stage, his animated delivery a real highlight. This was immediately followed by a seriously compelling version of Power that had electricity sparking around the venue, Steve Rothery’s superb guitar playing making the hairs on the back of my neck rise, you just knew tonight was going to be a mesmerising experience.

All of the band were playing with fluidity and an almost carefree attitude, perhaps it was because it was the last night of the tour but, for me, they were putting all of their heart and soul into every note and every word.

Captivating versions of Quartz and The Party followed as the band went through their repertoire of carefully chosen tracks from over 30 years of making emotionally charged music and the adoring audience lapped it all up. It was like being in the middle of a cult but a wonderfully civilised one. There were standing ovations at the end of every track, Marillion could do no wrong tonight…

And then they played bloody Seasons End…What a spine-tingling, jaw dropping eight minutes that was, one of my favourite all time songs played by one of my all time favourite bands and with a guitar solo that soared to the heavens and was so full of emotion that I was lost in reverie. After the rapturous applause had died down Marillion delivered a thunderous performance of Living In Fear, the second track from current album ‘F.E.A.R’, one that seems to have given the band a new lease of life and attracted quite a few new followers to these veterans of the progressive scene.

The setlist took a ninety degree turn next as a band full of the confidence of a succesfull tour traded banter with the appreciative audience, Steve Hogarth asking Mark Kelly if they could swap Out of This World for a fan suggested White Paper and, to the cheers of the audience, they did! There was a real warmth and humour evident throughout the evening, the band were relaxed and obviously enjoying themselves and that came through in the performance.

A stirring rendition of The Leavers followed by Wave and Mad ramped the atmosphere through the roof, here is a band at the height of their not inconsiderable musical powers, Pete Trewavas bouncing around the stage and engaging in some gentle banter with Hogarth while Ian Mosley was an animated demon behind the drum kit, as ‘h’ would say, a bloody impressive pub band indeed!!

The set was completed by a blistering Afraid of Sunlight and a truly emotive performance of perennial fan favourite The Great Escape that surely had more than just a few eyes moist. At the end of every track virtually the whole theatre were on their feet cheering and clapping, just lost in the wonderful moment.

You know when the band leave the stage that there is going to be an encore and what an encore it was, a poignant and evocative Easter which contained possibly Rothers’ most impassioned solo ever and then a reverently received version of Sugar Mice that left the audience emotionally charged.

At this point I left, hoping to avoid the crowds but the opening notes of Garden Party had me rushing back in to the side of the stage to experience what was a group of friends enjoying themselves and playing music that they truly love, it was just magnificent!!

This time the crowd really did go wild…

So, there you have it, Marillion live at York Barbican, music really has the power to move you and bring a lasting joy to your heart and soul and, on this night, I had my most special musical epiphany ever and it just doesn’t get any better than that.

 

Review – Colin Edwin & Robert Jürjendal – Another World – By James R. Turner

I’ve been doing this for over 20 years now in one form or another, this getting new albums to listen to, review and share my thoughts with whoever’s reading. To think when I first started back in 1994, I’d been handed a package in a brown envelope in a local hostelry, disappeared home to listen to them in the comfort of my own home, write out (by that I mean hand write out) my opinions, drop them back in a different brown envelope in the same pub (where, being 17, naturally I was drinking orange juice) and await for the postman to deliver the magazine with my words in. Hopefully then (& now) people have thought I’ll give that one a punt.

I was thinking of the old way of doing things when I was sat on my bus into work the other day, I had this album on a download, straight from emailed link to laptop to mobile, headphones plugged in and immersed in the music whilst I was commuting. I could even make notes on my mobile, ready to transcribe into something meaningful to send, again hoping that if one person reads what I’ve read and is influenced to try this record out then, my work here is done.

I was thinking about timelessness and being of the now, whilst listening to this record, it’s not the longest by any stretch of the imagination clocking in at just over 30 minutes long, not even enough to fill half a C90 tape. It might be short (certainly by today’s terms – where we’ve been conditioned to expect the entire CD to be full) but it isn’t any longer than it needs to be, a definite case of less being more, and that ethos runs through the whole record.

This collaboration between former Porcupine Tree (& current Henry Fool amongst many others) bassist Colin Edwin and Estonian guitarist Robert Jürjendal is one of those records that just grabs you slowly, the way the two musicians work together is a wonderful sound to behold, and with trumpet from Ian Dixon and electronics from Isak Nygaard, this contemporary ambient electronic musical journey is an exploration of musical space, straddling the shifting borders that prog/jazz/ambient music rub along against.

From the muted trumpet and electronic background that introduces the opener Blue Mint, this is a true musical journey, where the space created by Nygaard gives both Edwin and Jurjendal the room to weave intricate and exciting musical sounds, space and distance evoked, all topped off by Dixon’s sublime trumpet sound.

Reminiscent of musical explorations by artists like Keith Tippet or Billy Cobham but with plenty of that fluid sound that Edwin is known for (and which was always the secret musical weapon in Porcupine Tree’s armoury), with Jürjendal he has found a sublime guitarist who is just as keen to push the musical boundaries and see where it takes them.

With the longest song here, Hybrid Horizons, clocking in at just over 6 minutes there is no note wasted, no over blown unnecessary moments, everything is here for a reason. With tracks like Sancho Panza, that showcase Jürjendal’s guitar and the title track, the beautifully pulsing Another World, this is a well-made album.

Everything has been thought about and structured, and the collaborative work is so good that its hard to tell where Edwin ends and Jürjendal begins, the meeting of two like-minded musicians who have, wisely, kept external collaborators to a minimum helps create the coherent whole. This means that you get absorbed in the musical journey this album takes you on, so much so that it’s very easy to nearly miss your bus stop.

This has that electronic undertone and contemporary compositional technique of working from different studios in different countries and then pulling it all together through the power of the internet, yet it is a timeless collection of fantastic ambient and modern jazz infused sounds that will still sound both current and timeless in ten, twenty or thirty years ago.

When I first started I would never even have thought of listening to anything remotely jazzy, and yet now I can think of nothing more natural than letting the warmth of this album wash over me, and I have no doubt it’s one I will continue to return to. Timeless and contemporary, it is simply a fantastic record.

Released 9th March 2018

Order ‘Another World’from Burning Shed here

Review – Richard Wileman – Veil – by James R. Turner

Many years ago, I had a column in a well-known North of England organization for the promotion of classic and progressive rock. I was a contrary individual, and part of my ‘work’ was to listen to classic prog and rock albums with a fresh pair of ears, without the baggage of the genre.

I quickly concluded that what passed for Prog in the mid to late 1990’s and early part of the 21st century wasn’t progressive in it’s truest sense, and instead of actually progressing, was in fact standing still.

Then I was introduced to the work of Karda Estra, the name for a loose collective of musicians working around the compositional and musical skills of multi-instrumentalist Richard Wileman, and as anyone who is familiar with the band will know, that Richard has been a restless composer, always happy to try new things, weave together new sounds and arrangements in search of his muse.

Over the last decade or so albums like ‘New Worlds’, ‘Weird Tales’ and ‘Eve’ have subtly insinuated themselves into my musical consciousness and become go to albums for different moods, and ones I have never tired of listening to.

Now ‘Veil’ see’s Richard stepping out from behind the Karda Estra name, and crafting an album that has echoes of the sensibilities and styles from Karda Estra, with some dark folk songs, and ethereal music, coming across as like a soundtrack to some long-lost Tigon or Amicus horror mo vie from the 1970’s.

Of course, there’s a lot more going on that that, as the mix on the album veers from the dark gothic atmospheric chamber music that he’s perfected beautifully on The Sea Witch for instance with it’s haunting chords and strings or the opener Ghost, which see’s Richard musically anyway, stripped back with some wonderful acoustic guitar and vocals.

Mephisto Portrait is another one of these songs, with some wonderful pastoral echoes, but something more going on underneath, with some fantastic guitar and Floydian bass, this in fact sits in the similar sort of territory that Matt Berry has carved out a career in. The nod to the 1970’s horror films continues with a version of Paul Giovanni’s The Tinker of Rye, from the Wicker Man soundtrack, and which fits neatly with it’s subtle (ish) innuendo, and tongue in cheek nod to trad folk smut.

Reworked versions of Karda Estra material sit alongside Richards newer songs, and blend perfectly, Cassiopeia weaving it’s magic, whilst the wonderfully evocative Three Occultations (which has been played by Stuart Maconie on his Freakzone show) reminds me of elements of bands like Comus, Spyrogyra or even Trees, whilst Richard’s elegant compositional skills and the way he’s honed his craft working as Karda Estra really make this album work.

Subtle musical accompaniment from Amy Fry, whose duo vocals with Richard are an absolute joy, whilst her clarinet joins with the trumpet of Lauraine Phelan and the bass clarinet and alto sax of Jo Court, which gives depth and a sense of different styles to the album, Richard, as mentioned elsewhere, plays everything else, and with his vocals forefront, and his name on the sleeve makes this a much more song focused album than Karda Estra works.

This is not a re-branding exercise as such, more a case of Richard extending his musical chops above and beyond the Karda Estra name, and with this is mind this is a perfect progression of his musical journey, part singer-songwriter album, part soundtrack for a lost British classic, and overall a thoroughly enjoyable and eminently listenable album.

Released 16th February 2016

Order ‘Veil’ from bandcamp

Review – TRYO – Antología Eléctrica – by Jez Denton

I know very little about the country of Chile other than to say, geographically, that it is a country of huge contrasts, bordered as it is by mountains to one side, the sea to the other and stretching from rain forest in the north, through the most arid desert to the southernmost tip where South America is closest to Antarctica with all the inhospitability associated with it. It seems to me, even in these days of a shrinking world, a mystery, a secluded and cut off outpost on the edge of the world. An enigma of a country.

Musically, I know even less about Chile so it was with great anticipation that I picked up ‘Antologia Electrica’ by the Chilean Progressive Jazz Rock Fusion band, Tyro. This album is an anthology of the bands 30 year career covering their formation in 1987 up to the present day, and which links into an anniversary tour which the band will be undertaking. It would be, for me, a voyage into the unknown, and a journey to be undertaken over the development of a sound over three decades.

Firstly, right from the opening track, you understand that the band is made up of a number of very talented and impressive musicians. Space is given to all players to showcase their instruments and their playing abilities. But for me, this is where I struggled with the album. A great friend of mine once said, when I was trying to convince him of the merits of jazz music, that ‘it’s all well and good, yes they are great musicians and all, but why can’t they play the same song at the same time?’ And to me, listening to the tracks on this album, this makes great sense. The bass in particular, whilst expertly played, tends to overpower the melodies and doesn’t compliment at all. That’s not to say it is without merit, it’s just to this reviewer’s ears it becomes too discordant.

However, I have always found when listening to music in languages I do not understand that the voice becomes more of an instrument, an aid to the melody. This is one of the high spots of this anthology as the songs with vocals on do work wonderfully well as less emphasis seems to be given to a variety of solos. The lyrics themselves, when translated into English, are evocative and emotive with a Zen like acknowledgement of our world, community and ecological surroundings and really add to the heights that the music tries to reach.

Overall, if you like your music to be challenging you’ll enjoy this anthology. And if you do so enjoy this I can imagine a deeper journey into their back catalogue to invest in the albums from their career showcased here will only reward you, especially if you are a lover of a bass guitar being played trickily and predominant in the mix. For me, I enjoyed listening too and finding out about this band, but for me it just didn’t quite hit the spot, perhaps like the country of Chile, it remains an enigma to me; although it did remind me to dig out some Jazz and Latin American music, perhaps more to my tastes.

Released 5th March 2018

MIDAS FALL SHARE ANIMATED VIDEO FOR ‘GLUE’

Scottish post-rock duo Midas Fall, who release their new album ‘Evaporate’ on 27th April, have shared a stunning animated video for ‘Glue’.

Directed and produced by Stefano Bertelli, with the set design by Riccardo Orlandi, the band describe the track as,’a song that exists in 4 parts and goes on a journey. Over the years time starts to blur the edges of the situation you are in up to the point that this becomes your normality and impossible to see an outside perspective. As the track unfolds the realisation is made and leads to further realisation of the difficulties associated with breaking free. Ultimately ending in chaos. The song gives a little nod to Ravels “Gaspard de la nuit” at the start before going in a more electronic direction, utilising sparseness, beats and synths.’

With this new album, Midas Fall have carved a distinctive and captivating sound, creating taut, shimmering soundscapes led by the hauntingly melancholic vocals of Elizabeth Heaton – a sound described as “powerful yet fragile, devastatingly beautiful and beautifully devastating” (The Founder Magazine).

Extremely emotive and vivid, ‘Evaporate’ is a deeply beautiful record – from the desperate, savage cacophony of ‘Bruise Pusher’ to the elegant ascension of ‘Sword to Shield’ – it conjures stunning soundscapes at every turn.

The album will be released worldwide by Monotreme Records on 27 April 2018 on CD and digital formats, as well as a limited pressing of 500 LPs on 180 g vinyl (200 black and 300 clear blue / black).

Pre-order the album now – http://monotremerecords.limitedrun.com/products/610709

The band are also set to tour the UK in May:
04/05 Evil Eye, Liverpool
05/05 Cavern, Exeter
06/05 The Vault, Leicester
08/05 The Star Inn, Guildford
09/05 Aatma, Manchester
10/05 Bannermans, Edinburgh
11/05 13th Note, Glasgow 

HAKEN – announce first ever live album – ‘L-1VE’ and work on next studio album

HAKEN are extremely pleased to announce the release of their first ever live album, titled ‘L-1VE’ and scheduled for release on June 22nd, 2018. Following the release of the bands much-acclaimed fourth studio album ‘Affinity’, they embarked upon their 10th anniversary tour across Europe & North America. Recorded and filmed on April 13th, 2017, at the legendary Melkweg venue on the Amsterdam stop of that tour, this represents the band’s first ever live document with tracks from across the bands discography.

“The release of official live material is a project that is long overdue and we know our existing fans have been crying out for this for some time now. Whilst we have filmed and recorded many shows in the past we have always felt there were elements of our shows that could be improved ‘visually’ before we documented and immortalised this for the world to see and that the timing for a live release  never felt right for us. This is just our nature as creative people to be so extremely self-critical and constantly strive for perfection. It is largely due to the will of the people that the idea of this project became a reality. Both the band and the label were inundated with emails requesting a live release in some shape or form, and it was actually rather flattering, so giving the people what they wanted just felt like the right thing to do.”

‘L-1VE’ will be released as a 2CD/2DVD Digipak package & as digital download. The DVD will include 4 bonus tracks filmed at ProgPower USA 2016 that also includes Mike Portnoy’s cameo appearance on gong, as well as all of the official videos from the ‘Affinity’ album. The main show and the bonus material on the DVD are also mixed in 5.1 surround sound.

You can find the full track-listing below and pre-order the album here:
https://Haken.lnk.to/L-1VE

1.affinity.exe/Initiate
2.In Memoriam
3.1985
4.Red Giant
5.Aquamedley
6.As Death Embraces
7.Atlas Stone
8.Cockroach King
9.The Architect
10.The Endless Knot
11.Visions

DVD Bonus Material

1.Falling Back to Earth
2.Earthrise
3.Pareidolia
4.Crystallised

Also includes music videos for Initiate, Earthrise & Lapse

Artwork was once again produced by long-time collaborators Blacklake, who continued the love of 80’s culture that they demonstrated on artwork for ‘Affinity’. The live audio was mixed by Neal Morse & Winery Dogs alumni Jerry Guidroz.

The band have also revealed they have started work on their fifth studio album. They comment: “We’re currently getting our teeth stuck into the writing process for Album 5 and great ideas are forming and evolving as we speak. It’s still early days but there is a sense among us that Haken may take a darker path with this one. However, the playing field is still wide open and the direction this record takes could alter at any point. One thing is certain: We will endeavour to stick to our mandate of strong melodies and Killer riffs! ”

The Pineapple Thief’s Bruce Soord checks in from the studio and reveals details of their new studio album Dissolution

UK & European Headline Tour Announced

Bruce Soord, The Pineapple Thief’s composer, lyricist and driving force, has checked in from the studio with an update on the progress of the band’s new album, the follow up to 2016’s acclaimed Your Wilderness.

After 5 intensive months of song writing and recording, the new The Pineapple Thief album is almost done!  We’ve once again been joined by Gavin Harrison, but this time from day one.  It’s been a real collaborative journey between the 4 of us writing and recording this record, with the songs taking on a life of their own.  When everyone pulls in the same direction, amazing things can happen.

Bruce also reveals more about Dissolution, the title of the forthcoming release ““The new album, will be out later this summer. Broadly speaking the title reflects the disintegration of relationships and the undoing of our social fabric.  We’re living in a time when supposedly we are more connected than ever before, but, I personally am at my happiest when I unplug that connection. 

Reflecting more on the creative process between the band members – Gavin Harrison, Jon Sykes & Steve Kitch, Soord explains “ I would come up with ideas, jamming them on a guitar with a rough vocal, but instead of locking myself away and finishing the demos like I usually do, I would send them to Gavin for him to play around with in his studio.  Gavin has one of the best sounding drum rooms I have heard, and he can produce incredible sounding drum mixes. He would then lay down some drum ideas, chop things around, add some drum sections here and there before sending it back to me to take forward. It’s as close to having a jam in studio as you can get whilst being 200 miles apart!  Jon would then lay down his bass from his studio and Steve would do his thing from his mastering studio in Devon. We are just settling down now to the do the final mixes. Gavin is mixing the drums, Steve and I are mixing the rest. I am definitely looking forward to having that celebratory beer when we send the masters away!”

Gavin Harrison adds “It’s been fantastic to collaborate with these guys again – especially as this time I’ve been involved from the ground up. It’s been a most inspiring effort and I think it will prove to be the best yet. The emotional investment that you place in an album is immense and we’re all excited about getting out there and playing these songs live. “

The Pineapple Thief have announced they will be taking  Dissolution on the road starting in September 2018 which will include their biggest show to date at London’s prestigious Shepherds Bush Empire – tickets are on sale now and selling fast: http://www.pineapplethief.com/tour/

Sep 15 – FR – Paris – La Maroquinerie

Sep 16 – BE, Brussels-  La Madeleine

Sep 17 – DE, Bremen – Schlachthof

Sep 18 – DE, Hanover – Musikzentrum

Sep 19 – DE, Berlin – Lido

Sep 21 – PL, Warsaw – Stodola

Sep 22 – CZ, Olomucany – S-Club

Sep 23 – CZ, Prgaue – Rock Cafè

Sep 25 – AU, Wien – Szene

Sep 26 – DE, Munich – Backstage Werk

Sep 27 – DE, Aschaffenburg-  Colos-Saal

Sep 28- DE, Cologne – Live Music Hall

Sep 29 – NL, Amsterdam – Melkweg

Oct 4 – UK, Edinburgh – Liquid Rooms

Oct 5 – UK, Sheffield – Leadmill

Oct 6 – UK, London – O2 Shepherds Bush Empire