Exposé Online banner

Qoph — Pyrola
(Kaleidophone KALCD1, 2004, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2005-03-01

Pyrola Cover art

It’s been entirely too long since this Swedish band’s 1998 debut. Since that time, the band has formed their own label and started singing in English. Their basic sound is intact, however, and honed to an even finer point. Their core is an off-kilter take on classic rock, rather like Captain Beyond’s first album inflected with some slight touches of symphonic and exotic sounds. The guitars rock without entering the metal zone; the drums have a jazzy lilt; the strong vocal lines have just the right balance between melody and rock power; guests from Anekdoten, Mats/Morgan, and so on provide a little extra flair. When I heard they were switching to English I was a little concerned – non-native speakers often have unpleasant affectations, and the lyrics could end up killing whatever musical value there was. I needn’t have worried. The lyrics are well-written, and the accent quite pleasant. From the opening “spacey minuet in 5/4+6/4” to the epic closer “Fractions,” this is one of the year’s finest releases in any genre. While the arrangements are endlessly complex, they flow so well that there’s no hint of pretense; the odd meters are handled as if they were no big deal, and even big-name bands are hauling out Mellotrons and theremins these days. There are far too many wonderful moments to mention here: great guitar work, crisp production, a kick-butt rhythm section, catchy riffs, really great guitar playing, wacked-out Moog solos, acoustic bits to contrast the loud parts, more great guitars.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 31, 2004 releases

Related artist(s): Simon Steensland, Qoph

Latest news

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

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


Previously in Exposé...

Naoki Ishida - Fazing Redust – Although one's initial reaction to this obviously low-budget recording (the hiss throughout is quite noticeable) of seemingly aimless sonic noodling might be rejection, the seven tracks herein do have...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues