Exposé Online banner

Malcolm Smith — We Were Here
(TropeAUDIO TA 052, 2014, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-12-23

We Were Here Cover artComposer and guitarist with prog-rock band Metaphor, this is Smith’s debut solo endeavor, a largely instrumental sampling of ideas that push all the right progressive buttons, yet offers a respectable level of originality that won’t leave the listener comparing these six pieces to things that have been done before. First and foremost, this sounds like the work of a composer utilizing the full palette of rock instrumentation rather than that of a guitarist alone, and on that level this is truly successful. Working with Smith are his Metaphor bandmate and keyboardist Marc Spooner, Änglagård / Necromonkey / White Willow drummer Mattias Olsson, and bassist Loren Gustafson. The two cuts that feature vocals (That would be “Still...Life” and some wordless voice on the refrain of the second part of the nearly fourteen-minute nine-part epic “Sykiatry”) feature Metaphor’s John Mabry, and Deborah Roth respectively, although closer “Les Canards de Guerre” features a spoken French poem recitation by Smith and Spooner. Two additional guitarists, Craig Launer and Rich Longacre, guest on a couple of the album’s instrumental cuts. Compositional approaches run the gamut, from a warm, melodic and delicate Genesis-like approach to the the full-on orchestral type arrangements of early seventies Frank Zappa, even to a balanced and refined fusion approach that appears from time to time. Mabry’s vocal appearance is just at the right place to create a down-to-earth stop in the middle of all this heady instrumental music. For the most part the album is full of busy and complex arrangements with turns and twists that surprise the listener around every corner, that should please the instincts of progressive rock fans everywhere.

Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): Malcolm Smith

Latest news

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

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

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


Previously in Exposé...

Surge - For the Time Being – Why is European mainland jazz ignored or worse yet, simply prejudiced as being lesser than US contemporaries? And does jazz have to be black to be good? These questions have been asked by reviewers...  (1998) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues