This October sees the release of this highly impressive and sonically rewarding third vocal album from Nottinghamshire Prog rock band Red Bazaar, featuring Peter Jones (Tiger Moth Tales) on vocals and keyboards.
The album is fairly political in its subject matter with freedom of speech being a major topic. Now, some folks think that politics and music don’t, or shouldn’t, match but, if you think about those 60’s protest songs and the more recent political ones like Another Brick In The Wall, you can see the impact such music can have. Personally I really don’t mind, especially if the sentiments expressed are important ones, anyway back to the album…
Opener One Out Of Three is a hard hitting track opening with soaring synths and a furious drum beat that sets the urgency of the song up well. The track also hinges on an angular guitar riff from Andy Wilson. Its subject matter is the state of the music industry and how cynical it is these days, both manufactured and marketed by those in control with their eyes firmly on profit and not quality and originality. This is a sweeping condemnation of the current scene, one that Peter Jones knows from personal experience as he was previously an X factor contender (coming 4th in the first series) before taking control of his own destiny and writing and performing the music he wanted to rather than being told too. A wise decision that enriched us all with the Tiger Moth Tales series of albums. The track is frantic and very fine indeed, as is the second track Spirit Of Man which opens with ethereal keyboards and an echo laden guitar arpeggio from Andy, accompanied by an underpinning keyboard swell before Peter’s vocal starts. The songs seems to be about keeping going against setbacks and mental health issues. It is a fairly positive song though and tells us that you have within you a strong Spirit Of Man. This is in part based on the mock-Latin phrase “illigetimi non carborundum” which is probably more widely known as “don’t let the bustards grind you down”, strong words but a good song nonetheless.
State Of Disgrace is highly political and critical of those in charge as they write the laws that benefit them most, while the rest of us are encouraged to toe the line or face being silenced by the ruling classes. It comments on the lack of morality and the lack of consequences for those in charge, along with the suppression and subrogation of the rank and file, i.e. Us! It is a very political song with elements of George Orwell’s epic ‘1984’ novel with which it shares several common themes. I really enjoyed this track and agree with the issues it so eloquently speaks of. Take Control is also another winner featuring both an excellent vocal from Peter Jones alongside a fabulous solo from Andy Wilson in a rather epic track that has it all in its near 10 minute running time, simply astonishing performances and a fantastic song overall.
Smokescreen follows and is a song based on a John Francombe book in which a man punishes his unfaithful partner by setting fire to their home whilst she sleeps. Quite a dark subject matter but well handled by the group and featuring great bass work throughout by Mick Wilson, who is consistently on form on this album. Final track Stop The World continues the politics as it talks about how politicians are creating division and using it to further their own agendas. This is the album’s longest track, working well as a very good good conclusion to what has proven to be an assured, intelligent and well crafted piece of work. Okay, its themes may be a bit dark and political but, for these times of uncertainty and incompetence, especially with modern political life, this is a very telling set of songs, urging us all to speak out and make our feelings known.
I think it is one of the finer albums of the year. I really enjoyed it and the musicianship is excellent throughout, with great vocals from Jones and great bass and guitar work from the Wilsons along with solid, urgent drumming from Paul Comerie. This is an album that really cries out be be heard by a far wider audience than it will probably receive unfortunately. This really is something special and worthwhile and I heartily recommend to all.
Released 30th September, 2022.
Order from White Knight Records here: