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Laughing Stock — The Island
(Apollon Records no#, 2018/2020, CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2020-12-07

The Island Cover art

It was not that long ago that I reviewed Laughing Stock’s second album Sunrise. Now Apollon Records has re-issued Laughing Stock’s self-produced first album, The Island. Just like Sunrise, The Island is a concept album, but the music and themes are not as focused. The Island revolves around daily challenges and watching life spiral out of control. However the music is not as dark and depressing as the subject matter. Drawing inspiration from 80s art pop, 70s prog, neo-prog, folk, and metal, the eight tracks are a pleasure to experience. Laughing Stock are masters of melodic themes, mood shifts, and tightly composed songs. Tracks that stand out are “That Face” and “Descension.” Though there are moments of Gothic Western or slightly sinister music, overall there is an uplifting vibe. And the guitar playing on “Canyon Crawlers” bears a similarity to Alain Markusfeld’s Le Desert Noir. Recommended for fans of melodic prog rock that flirts with jazz fusion.

Filed under: New releases, 2020 releases, 2018 recordings

Related artist(s): Laughing Stock

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