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Prog Round-up: May 2015

Album Review

Geoff Barton on new releases from Cranium Pie, The Chemistry Set, Eyesberg, Thirteen and Liquid Shades

Cranium Pie: Mechanisms Part Two

When it came out in 2012, we hailed Cranium Pie’s Mechanisms Part One as ‘the most bonkers prog album of the year’. No wonder, given that it’s the story of a battle between civilizations of robots and crayfish. Part Two is unsurprisingly a continuation of the crustacean conceit.

This time lobster-like beings stumble across tapes recorded by ‘the last band on earth’ that have laid hidden for 908 years. There are no songs in the conventional sense, just a set of sprawling, serpentine entities that are best listened to in a single session. This is prog at its most bamboozling, a free-form freakout of krautrock, Zappa and Arthur Brown, augmented by industrial-sounding passages that recall the soundtrack to futuristic 60s kids’ TV series Space Patrol.

Bizarrely, you cannot fail to become immersed in the concept. Indeed, you form a strange affinity with the plucky crayfish, whose ‘voices’ are reminiscent of The Clangers crossed with Sweep (from Sooty & Sweep). You’ll never want to buy a jar of Marie Rose sauce again. (8/10)

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