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Professor Tip Top: Hybrid Hymns

Professor Tiptop is a progressive rock band hailing from Bergen, Norway. They formed in 2011 and have thus far released five CDs including their latest titled Hybrid Hymns. I reviewed their 2016 release Exobiology but missed their 2017 release titled Life Is No Matter.

Like Exobiology the new album is excellent. Their sound is progressive but saturated with a heavy hand of space and psych flavours. The overall vibe is mellow but with multiple sound layers of keyboards and guitar. It all makes for a trippy soundscape, very lush and maybe even a little one dimensional. I say this because they are not reinventing the wheel with any of these tunes but that’s okay. It doesn’t always have to be ground breaking in order to be good. And besides, this is what the band was going for and I think it worked out just fine. The vocals fit into the moody atmosphere nicely, very lush and dreamy and often quite catchy. I suppose there are pop elements as well making this fairly accessible but still progressive in the truest sense.

The first track “Black Holes Part 1” is a short introduction to the album proper, quite spacey with spoken words asking some big questions dealing with an expanding universe, what’s on the other side of a black hole and what is reality. Next is “An Awkward Choice” with its slowly evolving keyboard laden soundscapes, lush vocals and tasty guitar lines. There is certainly a Floyd-like atmosphere invoked. On “Machine Emotions” more tasty lead guitar work ensues but still the music remains quite calm. One of favourite tracks is “The Dogs Are Coming” beginning with trippy synths and Mellotron choirs before the guitar takes hold, definitely Gilmour inspired. The crisp beat and pulsating keys has an Alan Parsons feel. Just love this track as two of my favourite bands provide some solid inspiration. “Datamining” has a more poggy pop sound, another rather infectious offering.

I think Professor Tip Top has continued to develop their retro classic ‘70s sound and in the process has made a very entertaining and enjoyable musical concoction that has completely enraptured this listener. Highly recommended to anyone drawn to the ‘70s without actually going there. And the shorter trip will save you some time.

Band members:

Svein Magnar Hansen (vocals)
Sam Fossbakk (guitars, Mellotron, Hammond, EMS synthesizer)
Stein Høgseth (bass)
Charles Wise (drums, voice on “Black Holes Parts 1 and 2”)

Track Listing:
1. Black Holes Part 1 (1:32)
2. An Awkward Choice (5:57)
3. Machine Emotions (6:10)
4. The Dogs Are Coming…… (4:23)
5. Datamining (4:57)
6. Light Generator (1:14)
7. Turing Machines (5:25)
8. Passion (5:25)
9. Hybrid Minds (2:29)
10. ……Closer (2:54)
11. The Final Night (3:28)
12. Black Holes Part 2 (2:12)

Added: October 13th 2019
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band on Facebook
Hits: 1399
Language: english

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