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(51 min, 'Walrus')
TRACK LIST: 1. The Parade of Hoshikui 9:06 2. Somewhere & Nowhere 4:09 3. Dark House 4:47 4. The Lilica Boat 6:09 5. Paperplane 3:22 6. Real Guard Gondola 5:20 7. The Man Who Raises the Weed 4:29 8. A Medical-bin & Awakening 9:27 9. Pinhole Camera 4:20 LINEUP: Hideki Yamasaki - guitars Goro Yamasaki - bass; b/vocal Wataru Okabe - drums; b/vocals Cha - vocals; flute
Prolusion. Please read here.
Analysis. The Genesis influence and keyboards are out; the Rush influence is in, as well as the presence of shades of The Beatles, which still hold their 'positions' in places. The band easily turns their musical vector from one direction to another, but I doubt it's a great achievement, as they still follow the beaten paths instead of beating new roads on their own. Well, the most straightforward songs aren't abundant in derivative features, but this matter doesn't automatically provide them with interesting ideas. Just like in the case with Walrus's debut outing, the longest tracks: The Parade of Hoshikui and A Medical-bin & Awakening are simultaneously the best tracks here, each exceeding 9 minutes in duration. Much of the music is quite comparable with early Rush, on all levels, though there is also a beautiful flute-laden theme in one of the instrumental sections on each. (No flute on the other tracks.) The 6-minute The Lilica Boat combines Rush-infected arrangements with rather original ones, which can be referred to so-called guitar Art-Rock, and features a long, highly memorable guitar solo. All six of the remaining tracks are short and are vocal heavy, featuring few changes in this department, thou' the instrumental palette isn't notable for any particular diversity either. From a general structural standpoint, the songs: Somewhere & Nowhere, Dark House, Paperplane, The Man Who Raises the Weed and Pinhole Camera can be viewed as simplified versions of the longer tracks, though in reality they just alternate ballad-like and harsher arrangements. The energetic up-tempo Real Guard Gondola is the one lying outside the album's typical picture, most of all resembling the old-fashioned music-stylized stuff from Queen's repertoire blended with heavy Rock & Roll.
Conclusion. "More professionalism, less progressiveness!" would be an apt motto for this effort. The second Walrus album shows a certain improvement in the performance department, as well as the band's desire to swim with the current of contemporary mainstream Rock. All in all, their first effort "In the Room of a Singular Point" better suits my taste.
VM: February 27, 2006
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