Overwrought prog-rockers need to pull back a little
If less is sometimes more, than it follows that more, sometimes, is less. Exhibit A for this idea might be Flipron, a British outfit who never heard an overwrought proggy arrangement they didn't love. There is plenty of invention here, and these songs are far from terrible, but they suffer from an overabundance of orchestration and baroqueness—sometimes there's just too darn much going on. Queen-like vocal harmonies are piled atop layers of synths and noodly guitars, with the percussion shuffling along merrily underneath; melodies tend to rely on rapidfire delivery of polysyllabic rhymes. The most egregious example of this might be "The Big Red Button Must Never Ever Ever Be Pressed", but there are plenty of other examples. There are also some good moments: "Big Fat Blackberries" is the best song here, stomping along nicely courtesy of a thumping rhythm and some nifty keyboard work. Aaron Neville's presence spices up "The Comet Returns" as well. Some listeners will love this record: the production is clean and the performances are spot-on, with humorous vocals to boot. But fatigue sets in about halfway through. Sometimes it's okay to set the cleverness aside, guys, and just rock out a little bit from the heart.