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

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Marillion - Made Again – Made Again marks the first official release live album documenting the Hogarth era, and contains tracks from all four studio albums represented by the current lineup. The 2CD set is made up of a live...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues