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

2019-04-10
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

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Salvation - 1st & Gypsy Carnival Caravan – Among the mainstays of the West coast psychedelic scene in the mid- to late-60s was a jamming unit with a slight country flavor originally called The New Salvation Army Banned. Eventually a certain...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues