The Flower Kings — Back in the World of Adventures
(Foxtrot CD015, 1995, CD)
by Mike Grimes, Published 1996-08-01
Don't let the name fool you. The Flower Kings can jam! Take some soulful groove drumming, occasional Frippertronic style guitar, medieval flute-led romps in 7, and a plethora of keyboard and guitar tones. Combine that with the smoothness of Camel and that's a starting point for what Back in the World of Adventures can sound like. It's much more than this though. There are tons of nice long instrumental sections, like the majestic middle section in the opener, "World of Adventure," melodic Steve Hackett style layered backing vocals, cool chord changes - not to mention gobs of Hammond and Mellotron. The lead vocals are sparse and unobtrusive for the most part, with the exception of those in "My Cosmic Lover," which are sort of aggravating. The variety of guitar tones, and the combination of both vintage and modern keyboard textures gives the album a fresh sound - perhaps in some purgatory between retro and neo prog. While several comparisons can be made about their sound at any given point, there's so much variety in the music that no couple of influences are evident throughout the entire work. Although the album is over an hour long, it doesn't seem to drag along, which is saying something in itself. I guess it's true: you can never go wrong with lots of odd meter.
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more