Exposé Online banner

The Gourishankar — 2nd Hands
(Unicorn Digital UNCR-5042, 2007, CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2008-10-01

2nd Hands Cover art

In 2002, Russian guitarist Nomy Agranson and keyboardist Doran Usher formed The Gourishankar, a Russian neo-prog band that now also includes vocalist Vlad MJ Whiener and drummer Cat Heady. 2nd Hands is their second release of eight neo-progressive tracks. The opening track “Moon7” shifts back and forth between jazz fusion and 70s style progressive rock which kind of works, but gets too frantic. The remainder of the disc contains tracks that are too long, too chaotic, and/or have too much going on. “Take a Cake” is the one exception with its beautiful piano solo, but regrettably it only lasts 1:47. For some reason, today’s neo-prog bands tend to use everything in their sonic arsenals at the same time on every track, including aggressive and feverish heavy metal bass lines. Just because Porcupine Tree is able to do it well, every other band thinks it is now a necessary ingredient. I would really appreciate it if these bands would listen carefully to the prog bands of yore and realize how they achieved so much with so little. Barraging the listener with a multitude of sounds and instruments is neither new nor progressive, which is so true with 2nd Hands. Even the slick artwork with its new age aura is at odds with the music. Despite the positive reactions this disc has garnered from other reviewers, I cannot recommend it.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 36, 2007 releases

Related artist(s): The Gourishankar

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Tuatara - Breaking the Ethers – Tuatara's CD was one of those Tower Listening Station impulse purchases. I'd never heard of it, but it sounded so cool in the headphones I ended up taking it home. It starts out with a whirring...  (1997) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues