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The Entrance Band

Face the Sun

(Beyond Beyond Is Beyond; US: 19 Nov 2013; UK: 19 Nov 2013)

Mixed Bag from Psych-Influenced Power Trio

Psychedelic power trio the Entrance Band arrive with their latest full-length offering, Face the Sun, following their self-titled 2009 release. This sees founder and frontman Guy Blakeslee joined by bassist Paz Lenchantin and Derek W. James on drums for a sprawling set of tunes that run the gamut from compelling to watery. Exhibit A for the “compelling” bit is album opener “Fine Flow”, a nearly-nine-minute epic that shifts from meandering spaceyness to straightforward rockage. Satisfying as the tune is, though, it also marks the record’s high point. There are some good songs like the sinister, catchy “Spider” and moody closer “Night Cat”, but there are plenty of duds too. Blakeslee doesn’t have the strongest voice in the world, and his limitations as a singer serve as one of the defining characteristics of the album. This is especially egregious in “Fire Eyes” and the ambitious “Year of the Dragon”, a song which might have been moving in the hands of a more capable singer. A mixed bag, then, with some diverting moments, but many others that fall flat.

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DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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The Entrance Band - "Spider"
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11 Oct 2009
Guy Blakeslee can reach into kitschy territory, but with this massive power trio, there is potential for success without compromising artistic integrity.
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