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Minerals: White Tones

Not an ounce of cheerfulness ever emanates from Polish bands. No matter how many new acts come from that country, they all have one thing in common. Melancholy. Minerals are no different, while actually being a surprising departure from the likes of Riverside and their mimickers. That's not to say that you can't hear the dark, dank, introspection of Riverside on the Minerals debut offering White Tones, you can. However this isn't prog in the strictest sense, with elements of Cold Play, Radiohead, Keane and The Script also being revealed across the twelve songs on show, making for an album that is both deep and involving, yet has true mainstream crossover potential. It would also be fair to suggest that while Minerals do show flashes of true inspiration, their toughest hurdle to bound over may well be that at this stage their songs don't quite have the easily digested hooks needed to appeal to the masses, while the progressive themes are possibly too tame to make lasting impressions in the prog clan.

When the nail is hit on the head, the grating guitars and soaring voice of "Is This Love", hit in a style that uplifts and crushes spirits simultaneously, while the soul searching, chiming melody of "01010110" would make wonderful background on many a TV show, implanting its melancholic charm on those who care to listen as it does so. However the tendency for much of White Tones to noodle about aimlessly is extremely tiresome, blunting the attack of the numerous killer moments filed between the bland. "Mistake" is, well, let's just say it is aptly named as it plonks about with no real purpose, although it is more the thorough sameness of "Hearts & The Sea" which kills it stone dead in the memorability stakes. Far too many of the tracks start off slowly, lacking any real character, before they even attempt to mature into something more pleasing on the ear. Some blossom beautifully, others wither and die under the weight of expectation.

Deciphering who exactly does what on this album proves difficult, with the Storm Thorgerson like designs offering up no band listing, although of the five names listed as writing the songs, I'm guessing that Filip Poklosiewicz is the talented, if one dimensional singer, due to the fact he writes all of the lyrics. That said, the musicianship on show is never actually in question, it is more the lack of a cutting edge the songs display that leaves an air of emptiness at the albums conclusion. Although there's a distinct possibility that was the intention all along.

If you like your prog easy going, with chart crossover potential and an eye on introspective seriousness, then Minerals are going to be a band you'll adore. However for even for those who don't fall into that category, there are still a few moments of real, dazzling inspiration to make you sit up and take notice, just not quite enough to make White Tones a regular listening option.

Track Listing
1. 01010110
2. Last Time
3. Discount
4. Fast Forward
5. Is This Love
6. Hearts & The Sea
7. Fable
8. Mistake
9. Back Track
10. Thin Times
11. So Sure
12. White Tones

Added: September 21st 2012
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Metal Mind Productions
Hits: 1697
Language: english

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