Tom Hayes 4-Sep-2006 Trying

New improvisational trio set up by the duo of Pulse Engine with Peter Banks on guitar. Uh-huh, that Peter Banks. While I haven’t heard any of Pulse Engine’s work, it was interesting to find one review comparing them to a “latter day ambient Yes” and thus, they condescendingly noted, that at least some of it was listenable (they meant the non-proggy parts of course). So maybe not that strange the three found some symmetry between them. Peter Banks has lead a fascinating career (The Syn, Yes, Flash, Empire, solo work), and does not appear to have rested on his laurels, as the majority of his peers from the late 1960s have. Even so, the last thing I expected was an all out instrumental space rock album with Peter providing some wild unhinged guitar solos. The third track, ‘Mind the Door’, takes the cake. Maybe, as one musician mentioned to me many years ago, intense jams of that nature will make one nauseous after awhile. I cannot argue, but after 30 years of concentrated listening, I don’t seem to tire of them – especially when they’re of this caliber! My goodness, what a powerful jam, that ended too abruptly. Which is strange, given the relatively short duration of the CD (it’s barely over 37 minutes). Albums of this type can easily go double that length and still not be considered boring, since it’s the nature of that kind of music to drift endlessly, looking for that perfect riff or groove. It should also be noted that while there are some super fueled, high energy jams, much of the album does take an organic ambient approach, allowing for some nice contrast. As the band says “We make it up as we go along”. I’m for that!

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