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TRACK LIST: 1. Things Can Turn 8:05 2. Mirror Images 6:21 3. Borderline 5:14 4. Schooldays 5:41 5. 1975 3:33 6. Same 5:34 7. Politics 5:25 8. Under My Skin 6:00 9. Sweet Lucidity 6:57 LINEUP: Gert Bruins – vocals; unspecified instruments Peter Everts – unspecified instruments
Prolusion. Hailing from the Netherlands, TAURUS & PISCES is the musical collaboration between long-time friends Gert Bruins and Peter Everts, who hooked up on a personal level in the mid ‘80s. In 2003 they decided to craft a joint musical venture, exploring their common personal interest in various forms of progressive rock. The end result was finalized in 2008 and self-released in 2009 as the CD dubbed "Inertia".
Analysis. As some may already have surmised by the overall rating given this production, this isn't a venture that has brilliancy written all over it. By and large I think that the best word to use in describing this CD is underwhelming. Not without promise though, I might hastily add. And I would think that there are quite a few potential fans out there as well, in particular amongst a more mainstream-oriented crowd. The overall musical style does reside within the realm of progressive rock though, with neo-progressive and pop art as the arguably best indicators of overall sound. These guys do know their symphonic prog, and influences from that genre are heard throughout as symphonic backdrops. Digital strings, organ and piano conjure up musical motifs alongside acoustic and undistorted electric guitars, the various instruments and textures taking turns in providing the dominating part of the theme explored at any given time. The occasional guitar riffs add darker nuances to these excursions, and in the instrumental passages the guitar solo accompanies the rest of the instruments in a nice manner. But there's a certain amount of inertia in the compositions that, at least for me, makes these efforts a lot less interesting than they otherwise might have been. There are few real alterations in pace in the songs. Some variation does occur, but is mostly limited to the arrangements: changes in intensity and the addition and subtraction of sounds and textures first and foremost. The overall impression is that the songs are rather straightforward affairs, and those who are fond of challenging musical features need to look elsewhere. Add in rather dominating lead vocals, and the end result is songs with a mostly pop music approach in progressive coating. In fact, I found myself thinking of bands like Pet Shop Boys when listening to this disc, albeit in terms of approach and not style as such. A final negative aspect for me was the overall mix and production. I found the general sound on this CD to be loud, and although my ears may have been deceived I did get the impression that some textures had a tendency to break at times. My experience of the instrumentation was of a similar variety, in that I felt they opposed rather than filled out for each other from time to time. I've read a few articles on compressed sound over the years, and my impression of this CD is that it qualifies as an article with a bit too much compression. And while this isolated part of the musical experience is a minor one, it adds up to songs not enhanced by the technical framework, and a possibility that this is an effort with somewhat of an unfulfilled potential.
Conclusion. The Netherlands has produced many bands exploring a mainstream-oriented subset of the neo-progressive genre, and as far as I'm concerned, Taurus & Pisces fits this description to a T. And while I failed to be intrigued by this production personally, I'd guess that quite a few who generally enjoy the lighter side of this style will find themselves intrigued by this CD.
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