Focus — Focus 11
(In and Out of Focus, 2018, CD / LP / DL)
by Jon Davis, Published 2019-03-24
Focus is a band with a very long history, and with Focus 11 they give us a new album of studio material, following on from Focus X (2012). Leader Thijs van Leer is joined on this excursion by long-time drummer Pierre van der Linden, guitarist Menno Gootjes (who came on board with X), and new bassist Udo Pannekeet. Aside from one track by Pannekeet, van Leer penned all the music, and all of the tricks in his bag (minus the yodeling) are present. You get soaring pseudo-classical melodies, stately chord progressions, break-out heavier moments, delicate flute passages, and so on. For die-hard Focus fans, this will no doubt be welcome as more of what they love, but for more casual listeners, it might well count as more of the same, as it really doesn’t add anything to the band’s legacy. Focus 11 is full of tracks that on another band’s album might stand out as impressive, but in van Leer’s impressive body of work, are more or less average. If you’re unfamiliar with Focus, I’d still advise starting with Focus II (Moving Waves) or Focus 3, but if you’re familiar with the classic 70s material and hunger for more, this should do the trick.
There's No Time Like the Present – The Belgian band Present has been one of the best avant-rock bands in the world since its formation in 1979. Over the years since then, Present has released nine amazing albums, and now they're ready to start work on number ten. They're looking for some financial help from their fans around the world. » Read more
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
Seven That Spells - Cosmoerotic Dialogue with Lucifer – Is it a dialogue or one-way harangue? That's what you might ask emerging from this full-bore psychedelic freak-out of ferocious proto-metal fighting to stay alive (or conscious) against some... (2010) » Read more