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PegasiaMusic008: The Lost Journals: Volume I October 15, 2011

Posted by Roo Stercogburn in Uncategorized.
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Over at http://pegasiamusic.com/ they’ve been very busy chaps and this week released The Lost Journals Volume I, a collection of steampunk and steampunk influenced music from different artists.

The Lost Journals Volume I

Overall I enjoyed the album. Its very uneven, which is inevitable given the variety of contributers but there are some really great tracks here and there, well worth giving ear time to.

I’ve written a short review of each track in turn below. Some of the comments are perhaps not flattering here and there but one thing that everything on this album has in common is that its always interesting and for that alone I have respect for everyone who contributed to this work. Standout tracks for me were Steam Powered and Carousel.

The album can be downloaded at http://www.archive.org/details/Pegasiamusic008TheLostJournalsVolumeI

Steam Powered. Great bassline and a great feel to the track. Chuckled along at the slightly demented vocal deliveries and some very funny lyrics.

Something Wicked. Not really wicked. Perhaps slightly naughty. Dumbo’s pink elephants crossed with guitars. I found on a second listen it really started to grow on me fast.

Act I The Crash Sequence. Vey disjointed and slightly crappy sounds through the intro. Feels like they’re trying too hard to be different. This track improves hugely when it hits waltz time about 2 minutes in. However, overall its really just a gathering of clichés of how to do mania in music. Disjointed intro. Check. Violin. Check. Whispering voices. Check. And so on.
The guitar was pretty good throughout this and I liked the waltz section.

Written In Red. Nice buildup except it doesn’t buildup, I kept hoping there would be some kind of power surge during it but it never actually arrives. Still, good tune, good voice and a nice feel to the whole thing.

Carousel. More cool looney tunes. This is very catchy. Only part I wasn’t crazy on was the merry-go-round riff that plays a couple of times during the track and is the last thing that plays in the track. Its a bit heavy handed and not needed – the rest of the track has a great spinning, slightly out-of-control feel without needing to lay it on thick with this. That minor quibble aside, I really liked this track a lot.

The Illusion of Free Will. Firmly in chitty chitty bang bang territory here. Not enough sense of threat to go along with the title. That said, the break is good. I’d just have preferred some subtle hints throughout the track that something is not quite right. Three-four time doesn’t automatically confer that by itself.

Clockwork Heart. Off beat ticktocks are great. Bit too angsty for me. Probably want to watch out for the Carry On crowd with lines like “Winding my organs tight”. Oooh matron. The simple arpeggio throughout is effective and the string sections are good. Very clean sound overall, perhaps some more mess would have been good. Good track.

The Beast of the Air. Perhaps one for the Knights of Badassdom, not really to my taste. I just felt a sudden need to machinegun down treehuggers during this. Some of the discords on the guitar(s) are great but not enough to make this track something I would like.

AKAI-TSUKI. Mostly harmless. Well played rock, but too middle-of-the-road for me. The secret to good tunes is not necessarily lots of chord progressions. I’ve seen this in a lot of local bands that get impressed with themselves because they can do long winding chord progressions and lose sight of the tune itself and supporting structure. Argh that piano bit that plays on its own. I get the feeling this is a band of people that are good at their instruments and feel a need to show it, rather than focusing ruthlessly on the combined melody. I’d be interested to hear more if they threw out the nice and got a little bit nasty. Nasty does not mean necessarily more distorted guitar.

The Surgeon’s Widow. Great start. I was really enjoying this right up to “No one loves me”. I liked the sound palette, lyrics a touch melodramatic though I liked the story – it actually goes somewhere. Some of the rap goes very out of time towards the end but there’s a very cool feel to this track throughout.

Delicious Cabaret. This is good fun. Slightly out of whack but not so much that it would seem forced. I could imagine some dodgy Fagin type character singing this. Very enjoyable. I had the tune stuck in my head for a while, which is a good sign.

Airship Pirate. I liked the drumming and the guitar.

Time Machine. Good track, good strings. Very slightly trippy feel to it. The ending is clipped, which was a bit strange.

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