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Topics - Spanamana

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H / Home
« on: March 28, 2007, 10:04:44 PM »
Home were a 4 piece band comprising : Mick Cook / Drums, Percussion, vocals; Mick Stubbs / Guitars, piano, lead vocals; Cliff Williams / Bass guitar, vocals; Laurie Wisefield / Electric guitar (lead), Acoustic guitar, steel guitar, vocals.

They released three albums, of which I am the owner of the third and final one - The Alchemist.  In my opinion this is one of the great progressive rock albums. 

A concept album based upon the spiritual aspects of  alchemy, it tells to the story of two friends growing up in a village on the coast of, what I suspect, is Cornwall.  It is told from the perspective of one of the friends.  The narrators friend becomes the apprentice to an old alchemist who teaches him his skills.  After the old alchemist dies, the role falls to the now young man. 

The village is saved from disaster by the Alchemist who uses his skills to turn it away.  The villagers are overjoyed but the Alchemist hides from them as the struggle to turn back the disaster has had a terrible effect; it has turned him into an old man.

Whilst the Alchemist is struggling to recover the disaster returns and wreaks havoc on the village.  Seeing the approaching disaster, they call to the Alchemist to save them, but he is too weak and the village is devastated.  Thinking that the Alchemist has deserted them in their hour of need the villagers turn upon him and kill him.

From a musical perspective, the guitar work is excellent and conveys beautifully the emotions and power of the disaster.  Keyboards provide a haunting undertone.

The artwork is superb, I have the original gatefold cover that opens out splendidly to show each of the tracks illustrated by drawings.  Although good, the CD cover can never convey the splendour of the original 12" release.

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Prog and General Rock Talk / Best Jade Warrior Album
« on: August 29, 2005, 01:47:53 PM »
Jade Warrior are one of my favourite all time bands.  They have gone through three clear phases.  The first phase was during the early years and was influenced by Glen Havard who was the main guitarist and Vocalist.  The second phase was when they were signed by the Island record label and was both instrumental and experimental with beuatifully sculpted soundscapes.  This is my personal favourite.

The third phase was when Tony Duhig and Jon Field took full control of the band and went New Age.  A very beautiful period.

If you would like to know more about Jade Warrior, The Friends of Jade Warrior is located here: http://www.radagast.org/jade-warrior/

My favourite album is Waves, but don't let that influence you.

Geoff

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Having seen this band's live performances at Live8 and Glastonbury, I thought I would seek out and listen to their debut album, Hot Fuss.

The opening track, Jenny was a friend of mine, opens the CD with a sharply involved bass hook that keeps the track rocking through its 4 minutes.  Add on to that a synthesiser melody and tight drum work and you have one of the most exciting opening tracks I've heard for some time.  The story is of a girl killed by her boyfriend.

Track 2, Mr Brightside, shows the lyrical strength of this album. Again, a driving beat that keeps you attention to the end, with a strong story of jealousy at the end of a relationship..

Smile Like You Mean It is track 3.  This opens with a synthesiser that leads into a Stratocaster section that is reminiscent of U2, but Brandon Flowers voice is much more sharp edged that Bono's.  This and the verve of the music leaves in you no doubt that you are not listening to the Irish superband.

Track 4 leads in again with synths, but soon follows into a clever lyrical track with the words "Somebody told me you had a boyfirend who looks like a girlfriend"

"I got soul, but I'm not a soldier" leads the main chorus of All These Things That I've Done, which is track 5. 

Andy, You're a star opens with a driving guitar lick and introduces the first ballad of the album. 

Track 7, On Top, opens with a pretty keyboard opening that is accompanied with a fine piece of drumming before leading into David Keuning's axe work.  Once again the chorus melody is gripping.

Glamorous Indie Rock & Roll, is basically a straightforward Indie Rock & Roll ballad. 

Believe me Natalie opens with a great drum roll that leads into a clever track about the forgiveness in a relationship.

A Edge like guitar opening brings on Midnight Show as the tenth track on this album.

Finally, Everything Will be Alright, finishes the cd with a tight ballad.

I believe that if they continue with this quality of music I can see The Killers becoming a great band over time.  But how many times have debut albums promised so much and delivered so little?  I will hold my opinion until the next album, but hey, they're the best sound to come out of Las Vegas so far.

Tell me what you think.

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