Unless you are into rare and obscure 70's American prog, chances are you might not remember the name Pentwater. This Mid-West band released two albums in the late 70's called Pentwater and Out of the Abyss, before fading into obscurity for quite some time, until now that is. Ab-Dul is the triumphant return of this rather talented prog band, and if you gaze around the CD digipack, you will see pictures of guitars, Rickenbacker bass, Mellotron, Hammond, Theremin, and other assorted goodies. Well, all of these are featured and more here on this splendid modern prog release that draws much inspiration from the band's 70's material, yet is firmly rooted in the modern scene. The CD consists of 17 tracks, some brand new songs, some re-recorded songs from their previous releases, and a few remastered, never before released tunes from old studio tapes. In other worlds, there's plenty of great stuff here.
Keyboard nuts will love all the vintage sounds here, as Mellotron, Hammond, Moog, Fender Rhodes, and piano textures are all over every track basically. "Luncheon at the Parade" and "Autumn" are pure 70's styled symphonic rockers, as the band will remind you a bit of bands like Yes, Gentle Giant, Starcastle, ELP, Mirthrander, and Deep Purple. These tunes are littered with searing Hammond, nimble guitar, and strong vocals. "Sealed in Today" is a keyboard drenched complex number, with killer Hammond and gorgeous flute, as well as some beefy bass lines. You'll swear you are hearing Keith Emerson, or some reasonable facsimile on "Across the Medditeranean", as Ken Kappel just rips it up on the Hammond. Fans of more vocal oriented fare will love "Somehow Feelin' Fine", a tune that might have been a hit single back in the 70's, and Mellotron does battle with complex guitar, bass, and drum arrangements on the silky "Chasing". There's a nice medieval, pastoral touch to "You Knew", which features nice vocal melodies, mandolin, violin, and acoustic guitars, and "Turn the Key" has plenty of stabbing Moog-like synth blasts and dense vocal patterns.
Ab-Dul is a lot of fun, and sure to please prog rock fans who have followed the underground scene and waited years for this band to do something again. Let's hope that the band has more up their sleeve and we don't have to wait close to 30 years for something new.
The line-up for this release is as follows:
Ron LeSaar - electric basses (Rickenbacker 4001,Hagstrom-8,Bartell fretless), theremin, vocals
Mike Konopka- electric guitars, violin, flute, melodica, recorder, Mellotron,vocals
Ron Fox -electric & acoustic guitars, pedal steel, oboe, vocals
Ken Kappel-Hammond M3 & B3, elka, EML synth, piano, Fender Rhodes, Mellotron, vocals
Phil Goldman- electric & acoustic guitars, mandolin, vocals
Tom Orsi-drums, percussion, Mellotron, vocals
- It feels Like Stealing
- Luncheon at the Parade
- Kill the Bunny
- The Tale of Clear Fog
- Sealed in Today
- Across the Medditeranean
- Somehow FeelinŽ Fine
- The Tale of Clear Fog (Reprise)
- The Cry of Eugene
- Entropal Pause
- You Knew
- Turn the Key
- It Feels Like 3am