A lot can happen in four seconds as exhibited by the duo's last album Theman Simpulse which examined the internal workings of the human mind. Their latest is a six song EP entitled Half Time Orange. All of these songs will appear in the band's soon to be released album The Men and the Fourth Vol 1, a continuation of the concept developed on their previous record. This is the first I have heard of the band.
The UK duo is Martin Clarke and Mark Elliot with a little help from Simon Wallington on drums. Half Time Orange is a delightful blending of progressive rock and pop that is just easy to listen to. It probably will not blow you away musically speaking but these songs are so catchy and tuneful one cannot help but buy into their melodic style of song craft. The album's first track "The Seeing Kind" is a case in point; a pop/prog concoction of catchy guitar and an overall smooth sound. "Slippery Dragon" starts with arpeggio guitar before an interesting synth line percolates through the soundscape. Other effects burst through giving this one an added dimension. The laid back vocals are also a treat. The tuneful "Bus Girl" features an interesting use of synths while "A Rotating Spherical Happening That Appears to Defy the Eye" is an instrumental with nice orchestration and acoustic guitar. "The Beige Plain" and "Three Heads On Three Sticks" have a decided Beatles flavour; a blending of psychedelic rock and pop.
To put this album in some context, perhaps the mellower sounds of Genesis, XTC and the aforementioned Beatles might be a fair comparison. I also thought of Paul Weller's The Style Council while listening, not so much as sounding like that band but more in the way they deliver such a smoothly flowing sound.
My one criticism is the songs are so short they do not have a chance to further develop. The band clearly has the means to take their music to another level. Keep in mind this is only a minor complaint as I thoroughly enjoyed these six tracks.
Half Time Orange is one of those albums that may appeal to music fans wanting to dip their toes in progressive rock without taking the full plunge. Looking forward to their next full length album.
1. The Seeing Kind
2. Slippery Dragon
3. Bus Girl
4. A Rotating Spherical Happening That Appears to Defy the Eye
5. The Beige Plain
6. Three Heads On Three Sticks
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