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Parallel or 90 Degrees (PO90): Jitters

Coming hot on the heels of the latest offering by The Tangent comes this album from the 'other' band featuring Andy Tillison. The two are very different, with PO90 purveying a leaner stripped down take on progressive music, with shorter songs and an unashamedly contemporary flavour.

The album opens at a frenetic pace, 'Interlude' sending a brilliantly vibrant opening salvo. Soon after, 'Threesome' keeps the energy up with its caustic stop/start riff, which drives the verses into the more thoughtful bridge like a maniac surgeon's blade. The album boasts a few other standout moments, the almost anthemic vocals melodies at the climax of 'Jitters', and the elegantly understated closing notes of 'On the death of Jade' that end the album on a poignant question mark.

But despite the flashes of inspiration, there is a nagging sense that the album never quite delivers on its considerable promise. Nothing on the album is a failure, (although the awkward and unnecessary premise of 'The Dock of the Abyss' almost serves the render the song a disaster despite its good ideas), but neither does any of the album ever achieve brilliance.

Jitters certainly never feels like a band going through the motions to make an album. PO90 are a forward-looking band, and there is evidence of this right through the album in the way they cleverly marry elements of different techniques and genres into their songs. You want it to be a great album, and it in turn strains every sinew in trying to achieve that. But ultimately there is a gulf between a good album and a great album, and for all its innovative ideas, sturdy songcraft and crisp technique, Jitters never quite finds enough of that magic that makes a good album great.

Track Listing
1. Interlude
2. Standalone
3. Threesome
4. Entry Level
5. Backup
6. Jitters
7. The dock of the Abyss
8. One the death of Jade

Added: November 25th 2009
Reviewer: Richard Wheelhouse
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2972
Language: english

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