The Inner Road — Visions
(Orbital Productions, 2011, CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2013-11-18The Inner Road is an offshoot of UK prog rock outfit Coalition, who released their debut, In Search of Forever, in 2010. I’m not sure what it says about the health of Coalition that two of its key members — guitarist Phil Braithwaite and keyboard player Steve Gresswell — already need a different outlet for what is essentially more prog rock. I suppose one could argue that this collection of 12 instrumentals has a more cinematic, orchestrated quality to it, spiced with atmospherics and textural accents (perhaps best typified by “Heaven”). For me the ideas are a bit tame and the production values somewhat lacking given the bar set by others making music in home recording studios these days. However, I do commend the more melodically astute songs like “Day of the Sun” that harkens back to Sebastian Hardie, or “Life” with its Wakeman-like synth filigrees. Overall the instrumental performances are workmanlike though nothing particularly stands out. As a guitarist Braithwaite takes a conventional approach to rock guitar, rarely backing off the distortion but also rarely soloing, so that part of the mix is a constant, fuzzy blur. I’d also recommend more sophisticated keyboard patches in the future, plus a live drummer always helps. Why Braithwaite and Gresswell couldn’t just bring these arrangements to Coalition is a mystery, though fans of mainstream symphonic and neo-prog may find this collection to their liking. What it means for the future of Coalition remains to be seen.
Related artist(s): The Inner Road
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more