Exposé Online banner

For Absent Friends — Square One
(Musea FGBG 4681.AR, 2006, CD)

by Pam Thompson, Published 2008-10-01

Square One Cover art

If you like more rock with your progressive, this is the album for you. Dutch band For Absent Friends’ eighth album is 45 minutes of solidly played (dare I say it?) neo-progressive that is elegantly basic, with very clean production where everything is heard in every track. Songs build and fade, with a compositional maturity that keeps the music balanced. Nothing flashy jumps out here, just tightly played songs with intense vocals by Hans Van Lint, beautiful negative spaces, and beefy-yet-subtle guitar by Edwin Roes. Ron Mozer’s piano and vintage keyboard sounds fit well here, and don’t sound dated. while Edwin Wernke’s drumming is tasty, from tribal-flavored grooves to proggy fills, and René Bacchus’ bass is solid on the bottom end. Of interest is “Billy,” written by Ange, which features Christian Décamps on vocals — if you’re going to do a cover song this is a good way to do it. It makes an interesting contrast to the rest of the album, as the style is much more involved and features a tasty sax solo. Placing it as the last track on the CD was a good move, as it is distinctly different from the rest of the band’s material. An album that gets better with repeated listenings.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 36, 2006 releases

Related artist(s): Christian Décamps, For Absent Friends

Latest news

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

John Cale - Words for the Dying – I have to admit an orchestral setting for a set of Dylan Thomas poems reminded me of many of the criticisms for many a 70s progressive rock concept album. John Cale's arrangement of this collection of...  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues