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Prosperina: Harness-Minus

A quick trawl of the internet will find much lauding of the second album from Welsh trio Prosperina, Harness-Minus, and in many ways it proves that we all take our own musical baggage into each new band and album we listen to. For much though there's a lot to be impressed by in what this threesome do, their less technical Tool meets Alice In Chains via the rifferama currently being taken to mainstream successfully by Royal Blood, it isn't quite the saviour of Rock that some are suggesting and neither is it as stand-out unique either.

Now that may sound harsh, however I'd suggest that bestowing that level of pressure and expectation on a band only releasing their second album is premature and counterproductive. Instead let's take a step back and revel in the multi-layered intro to the album, "Chase The Throne", which draws you in from the start, vocalist Gethin Woolcock's vocals hitting somewhere between Layne Staley, latter day Ozzy, Chris Cornell and Maynard Keenan, as he makes equal mark through his sludgy, but not crushing guitars. Truly the opening six-string gambit is mighty, yet the initial impact is allowed to slip away as things level out. "Cult Leader's Handbook" suddenly allows drummer Yotin Walsh to let loose and boy does he, although not in a way that shoves the tuneful bass work from Owen Street out of the way. Woolcock's vocals do seem to get lost in the mix a little this time round, before they come back to the fore in the slow grind of "Proles".

Lyrically things are astutely dissatisfied with, well everything, even if clichés such as one eyed men and kings of the blind are occasionally leant upon. "Here Lie The Ruins" proves the lads can use a simple melody to adeptly build a song from chiming guitar, glockenspiel and voice into a string laden thing of beauty, the temptation to suddenly hammer down the melody with roars of distortion resisted, revealing a maturity that will serve this lot well. "Graveyard Of Ambition" scythes into being, a slow march landing somewhere between Them Crooked Vultures and Kyuss, while "Bridges" takes the same framework and adds an injection of adrenalin to romp along viscously.

What Prosperina have created with Harness-Minus is an energetic burst that announces that this band are going to be capable of great things. Personally I wouldn't quite bestow that accolade on them yet. They're not far away and possibly if I heard any of the ten tracks (serious bonus points for a lack of filler), in a live setting I'd be utterly hooked. However, maybe it's simply the fact that I neither feel Rock music needs saving, or that it is nearing its final breath that makes me impressed by and hopeful for Prosperina, while not being thoroughly bowled over. A game changer? Not for me, but that doesn't stop Harness-Minus being damn good and worthy of attention.

Track Listing
1. Chase To The Throne
2. Cult Leader's Handbook
3. Proles
4. Codes
5. Here Lie The Ruins
6. Ship Of Fools
7. Graveyard Of Ambition
8. Bridges
9. Sleepers
10. Sgwd Henrhyd

Added: November 24th 2014
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Prosperina online
Hits: 1687
Language: english

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