Monday, July 20, 2015

Fourplay : 1 Echo 1 , Le Folli Arie , Pinkroom , Chicago

1 Echo 1 - Collide (2015) Halfway up the ladder
Pennsylvania based 1 Echo 1 collaborated with John Moyer of Disturbed on their first 4 track EP in 2014, it was produced by Moyer and mixed by Kelly Gray (Queensryche).
Now the band returns with the new 5 track EP "Collide" that sounds like a typical contemporary hard rock record, they blend post grunge, industrial rock and alternative metal.
Imagine a mix between Nickelback, Orgy and Evans Blue and you´ll get "Collide". The production is a computerized affair, more suitable for mp3s than an expensive hi-fi system.
The songs are ok except for "Point of no return" that is actually really good, I like the arrangement.
If Breaking Benjamin are size XL, then 1 Echo 1 are size medium.

Le Folli Arie - Le Folli Arie (2015) Artists with a vision but no structure to get there
Le Folli Arie are a prog/fusion/pop band from Milano, Italy. They are influenced by artists in the progrock genre like PFM, Yes, Porcupine Tree and Genesis but also other genres like pop, jazz and heavy metal.
Formed in 2012, the process of making the band sound whole and unique required 2 years of labor-intensive work. It´s a varied album where the 13 tracks go from funk to adult pop and fusion to classic rock. But the sound is just too shattered.
Their self titled debut album is produced by the band´s singer/guitarist Simone Corazzari who also wrote or co-wrote all the tracks on the album. The lyrics are both in Italian and English but the major part is in their native language. The last 3 tracks are English versions of the songs "Salto nel buio" (Shot in the dark), "Il giorno mio migliore" (A better tomorrow) and "Non e facile" (It´s not easy).
The music bring thoughts to Umberto Tozzi meets John Miles Band with traces of Italian jazzrock band Nova, but not as good.
They need to focus.

Pinkroom - Unloved toy (2014) Musician´s music from Warsaw
I would never consider myself as an expert when it comes to the progrock/alternative rock scene in Poland, I only know of a few bands such as Division By Zero, Riverside, Satellite, Coma, Qube and now also Pinkroom.
The latter band belong in the same category as avant-garde artists like King Crimson, Dredg, Primus and Serj Tankian. Pinkroom´s 2nd album "Unloved toy" is a concept album about how it is as a man living in the world today.
The music contains semi-twisted chords and spooky sounds, quite suitable for a new Hitchcock film if he was still alive. You could say this band aren´t afraid of performing a crossover of psychedelic prog and experimental rock. Cool.
The album might be complex but if you have an open mind, you will embrace it.
Best track : "Enslaved".

Chicago - The studio albums 1979-2008 (2015) Impeccable tones from the windy city
In 2012, Rhino Records released Vol.1 with the first ten albums from Chicago between 1969-1978.This summer we finally get to lay our hands on the albums between 1979-2008 where the band changed direction from their big band rock to more polished westcoast/AOR.
The 10 cd box set starts with the commercial flops Chicago 13 and Chicago XIV before they recruited Bill Champlin and teamed up with producer David Foster on the successful albums Chicago 16, 17 and 18.
Original frontman Peter Cetera left the band to pursue a solo career after Chicago 17 and he was replaced by Jason Scheff, son of Elvis Presley´s bassplayer Jerry Scheff.
Even though the early Chicago albums is considered to be their classic era, this box set features some of their biggest hits from a band that in total sold more than 100 million records.
Not only does it include the underrated Stone of Sisyphus, but also the amazing comeback album Chicago XXX and the superb FIVE Chicago 16 to Twenty 1. A wetdream for westcoast fans.
This edition also contains 21 bonus tracks which are 9 more than the 2010 re-issues, but they are mostly alternative versions of songs on the original albums.
Reruns, Loser with a broken heart (Chicago 13)
Song for you, Hold on (Chicago XIV)
What you´re missing, Hard to say I´m sorry (Chicago 16)
Stay the night, You´re the inspiration (Chicago 17)
Niagara falls, If she would have been faithful (Chicago 18)
Look away,Victorious (Chicago 19)
If it were you, What does it take (Twenty 1)
Dream a little dream, Sing Sing Sing (Night and day)
Feel, King of what might have been (XXX)
Bigger than Elvis, The Pull (Stone of Sisyphus)

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