This CD arrived unexpectedly through the door – ah, it was like the old days! We keep hearing about enterprise, but isn’t it about time that Royal Mail incentivised us to actually use their services. Prices are prohibitive and the US and Europe are practically no-go areas. The free flow of artistic creation is being destroyed, and as a planet we are all the poorer for it.
Anyway, talking of destruction, I used to worry about the idea that the punk movement and the anaesthetised synthesiser sounds that permeated 80s music – look what happened: ELP’s “Love Beach” (the final insult!)- had come to destroy the prog dinosaur, but now I realise it was a phoney war in some senses. The reason I mention all this is not just because of John Lydon’s endorsement of VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR, but because Signia Alpha leader Matt Webster mentions the “BUZZCOCKS style pop-punk rocker” of the album’s opener ‘Such A Shame’. This reminds us that there was a lot of bloody good music in the late 70s and early 80s, and I have to say I haven’t enjoyed an album of 4 minutes or so songs as much for a long time. We are also reminded that Rickenbacker bassist Paul Gray played with THE DAMNED and EDDIE AND THE HOT RODS.
NEW MODEL ARMY is mentioned by Matt as a musical metaphor to describe the intensity of ‘On Diego Gracia’. There is also a psychedelic presence in the music and PINK FLOYD is referenced on two tracks: ‘The Price of Admission’ (with flautist Chris Walsh), my favourite of the first half as so much is packed into its four minutes, and the 7-minute epic on climate change called ‘The Atmosphere’. Cost of living song ‘Feels Like Rain’ is compared to THE BEATLES and jazz saxophonist Keith Jafrate makes a fine contribution in his solo. There is flute in here as well and references to ‘holes in my shoes’ (TRAFFIC anybody?).
‘Building Castles in Spain’ is hit single material, while on “musical mosaic” ‘Waiting’ the pastoral acoustic guitars prefigure the ‘calm before the storm’ as blazing guitars (Matt’s speciality although he is also drummer and sometimes vocalist) and thrashing drums signify an apocalyptic vision of this unstable world of ours, and ask the question - whose finger will be on the button?
When you listen to “Entropy” you immediately want to put it on again. That’s exactly what I’ll be doing when I’m finished reviewing for the day!
The album will be released on 24th September on limited edition transparent green vinyl, CD and download. Contacts: mutiny2000.com and bradfordnoise.com.