Exposé Online banner

However — Sudden Dusk
(Kinesis KDCD 1011, 1981/1994, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1994-05-01

Sudden Dusk Cover art

The reissue of However's classic Canterbury inspired first album is one this writer has been anticipating for many years. The band at this point was a four-piece, featuring Peter Prince (vocals, bass, 12 string, keys), Bill Kotapish (guitars and some bass), Joe Prince (drums), and Bobby Read (saxes, flute, clarinet, marimba, keys), plus guest musicians on vibes, violin, cello, marimba, recorder and bassoon. However's sound, at least at this point, bears strong influences from the Henry Cow camp, yet they have taken that type of sound and expanded it to a higher melodic level, full of atmospherics and powerful dynamic flux, so, in that respect one may also be reminded of Happy the Man. Also they share (early) Happy the Man's penchant for musical humor, operating on many levels at once.

The album opens with a noisy one: "It's Good Fun" is a romp through bold musical territory, playing with unexpected changes and dissonance; it is here where the Cow influence is most evident. With "Hardt," an acoustic guitar based track, things start getting even more interesting. It leads directly into "In the Aisles," an adventurous vocal track with strong support from a powerful bottom end, acoustic and electric guitars, violin, and mallets. "Louise Sitting in a Chair" is an overtly melodic piece, gentle and soothing, with the main theme carried by soprano sax and piano. This leads up to what I consider the album's standout track: "Beese." Seven solid minutes of alternating waves of musical tension and release, punctuated by powerful dynamics, tight interplay between wailing saxes, mallets, and piano; vocals play a role here as well, jumping into the mix seemingly out of nowhere, plus some spoken dialog about the musical tones a bumblebee makes when it flies.

"Sudden Dusk" is a very fused experimental sounding piece, a sonic exploration if you will — not one that'll play in your head all day, but it does open the second half of the album nicely. "Lamplight" is an instrumental piece that seems to pick up where "Beese" left off, yet it's over all too soon. "Grandfather Was the Driver" is the strangest one of the bunch, yet one I've grown to appreciate over the years. "Trees for the Forest," a more relaxed and introspective piece, serves up the melody on multi-tracked saxes, while the bass wanders around and plays with harmonics at the bottom end. "In the Midst of Making" closes the album proper with a trio for saxes, twelve string and electric guitars, with some vocals that easily go almost unnoticed behind the rich musical backdrop.

Your bonus track is "No Cows," a funkier, hard hitting track that was recorded three years later than the rest, roughly about the same time as the second However album, Calling. Overall, this is an album that many would enjoy, there's enough going on here to keep even the most discriminating listener interested, yet it's remains fairly accessible overall.


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 3, 1994 releases, 1981 recordings

Related artist(s): However

Latest news

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
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

2019-08-20
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

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Niacin - Niacin & High Bias – The cover of the first Niacin shows the venerable Hammond B3, a creature of legend. So you get an idea what you are in for. Who is Niacin? I think this would be called a "pet project" where...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues