Pure Reason Revolution — The Dark Third
(One Haven/Red 82876845082, 2006, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2008-01-01Pure Reason Revolution is part of a new breed of British Neo-progressive acts balancing neo-folk vocal phrases with familiar engaging art rock trappings. Led by guitarist Jon Courtney and bassist Chloe Alper, the band wears diluted spacey Pink Floyd motifs on their sleeve while delivering strongly realized vocal phrases closer to that of Steven Wilson's best work for Porcupine Tree minus the tricky riffs. The band is big on epic theme development from loose ambient sound structures but they are still in their infancy when honing a unique identifiable character. Tracks such as "Apprentice of the Universe" demonstrate mastery of a slow building groove with Enya-like harmonies, which may turn away as many ears as turn them on. Crafted pop is also one of the band's strong points, with "The Bright Ambassadors of Morning" being a vocal highlight in the vein of Polyphonic Spree. At times the band approaches the best work of Tears for Fears on pieces such as "Voices in the Winter" and "The Intention Craft." This University of Westminster quintet caught the ears of the NEARfest planning committee sometime in 1996, resulting in a 2007 stateside appearance which brought the group a fair amount of attention. I'd like to hear the band again in a few years once they've had a chance to grow their muse and channel it into a clearer more refined direction.
Related artist(s): Pure Reason Revolution
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