Exposé Online banner

Brand X — Manifest Destiny
(Purple Pyramid CLP 9940-2, 1997, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1997-10-01

Manifest Destiny Cover art

Once upon a time there were a bunch of session musicians with too much time on their hands, having some fun between gigs, among them drummer Phil Collins during a period when Genesis' future was not so certain. Supposedly a purely non-serious improvisational unit, Brand X was born. Next thing you know they're putting out an album and going out on tour. 20 years and about half as many albums later, after who-can-keep-track of how many lineup changes, breakups, and reformations, the core of the band — guitarist John Goodsall and bassist Percy Jones — is still working together. The lineup this time out includes drummer Frank Katz, from the early-90s X-incarnation, keyboardist Franz Pusch, and Marc Wagnon (from Tunnels and Doctor Nerve) on MIDI vibes, the latter two interestingly enough never appearing on the same track together, leading one to believe that this may represent material from two different sessions separated by some lineup changes. Jones' playful fretless antics never sounded better, and Goodsall's smoking guitar leads can be heard throughout. Unfortunately, Katz' heavy handed snare pounding seems inescapable at times too, though on tracks like "Virus" he loosens up and delivers a superb performance. In all, a better album than X-Communication from '92, the return of keyboards and addition of midi-vibes gives the sound a liveliness and warmth it was missing, although it still doesn't top 70s classics like Livestock.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 13, 1997 releases

Related artist(s): Brand X, Percy Jones, Marc Wagnon

Latest news

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Lili Haydn - Lili – It was February when I bought this on a whim, and it only took a few listens for me to revise my Best of 97 list to include it. Lili Haydn is a violinist of great talent. She’s apparently been doing...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues