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Days Between Stations: Giants

The third album from the pair behind Days Between Stations, Sepand Samzadeh (guitars) and Oscar Fuentes (keyboards), finds the duo teaming up with Yes man Billy Sherwood (he has more albums, bands and projects than I have space to list), while also inviting vocalists Durga McBroom (Pink Floyd) and Colin Moulding onboard for a guest vocal apiece. However, it’s the first of those collaborators who proves key here, Sherwood planting Giants firmly in an arena that sounds like he was steering this particular ship. Now, I may be doing DBS a disservice, after all I haven’t heard their previous two albums, however, from a newbie’s standpoint, Giants sounds very Yes, very bass heavy and, in short, very Sherwood. That said, I’m not really a fan of the man’s solo/solo-band output and here I find the results much more palatable - if rather safe - so credit to the core twosome for keeping things pretty much on track.

“Spark” brings the album into life, a keen amalgam of Chris Squire like bass booming and Gabriel meets Collins vocals landing things firmly in a land between Yes and Genesis. However, with the instrumental chops to back that sound up, it’s still an impressive opening. Sherwood takes lead vocal here, his smoothness of approach perfect for the roaming, if reasonably gentile framework it fronts. Although the instrumental asides do offer up some welcome intrigue, even if the reverential nods to their source inspirations do feel a little too keenly observed to make much here truly stand out.

Changing tack, “Witness The End Of The World” is a piano led, well arranged slower piece that cleverly takes things in a different direction. However, it’s a little listless and instead of keeping you tuned in, on repeat listens, I’ve had to fight off the temptation to skip what is a rather uneventful moment. The more broadly roaming “Another Day”, with its clever vocals pulls things back in, although again, the pace does seem to plod just a touch more than it really should. Unexpectedly, “Goes By Gravity” then adds a slightly poppier twist, with an overly repetitive chorus proving pretty memorable.

The expertly constructed title tracks brings a more modern Marillion like keyboard sprawl to its mid-section and Rothery-esque touch to the guitar solo to bring a scope that might well be missing just a little too much elsewhere and for me it proves an album highlight and by some distance. With “The Gathering” being a slightly pointless instrumental interlude that merely apes early Genesis, it’s left to “The Common Thread” to bring this uneven journey to a close. And with the beat cranked up just a smidge, it’s interesting how similar themes to those presented elsewhere can suddenly find a little more potency.

I’ve maybe been a little harsh in this review, because in all honesty I have pretty much enjoyed this album once I’ve gotten to know it. However, it’s one of those frustrating collections of music that doesn’t as much entice you back for more, instead leaving you hankering for the albums you know informed it and did it so much better.


Track Listing
1. Spark
2. Witness the End of the World
3. Another Day
4. Goes by Gravity
5. Giants
6. The Gathering
7. The Common Thread

Added: January 7th 2021
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: Giants on bandcamp
Hits: 191
Language: english

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