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Phlox - YWNTS CD (album) cover

YWNTS

Phlox

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

2.91 | 4 ratings

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memowakeman
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I am very glad to see this band here in PA, they have sufficient elements to be considered a prog rock band, and also to be considered a very good one. I have followed their steps since their first EP and first full-length album, and it is great for me to know they have now a second album, which is entitled "YWNTS" released in this 2013, composed of 7 songs that make a total time of 51 minutes; here, the band dared to compose a 25-minute track, challenging. Thanks to Hakim for introducing me to their music.

It kicks off with "Oscar November", the shortest track of the album. Here we can listen to a song with a mellow rhythm (that's Phlox's charm), nice acoustic and electric guitars, soft drums, but I must admit I don't like the bass notes here at all. This is a purely instrumental track. In "Cover me" the bass is what caught my attention since the first moments, here it gets on well with the rest of the instruments, I feel in the opener song the bass was misguided. This song is much better, a nice blend of musical genres, alt rock and prog rock here with even a touch of post-rockish guitar; this might be pigeonholed as the lightest side of prog.

In "Pale, Blue China" I am afraid they wanted to play a little bit with the recordings, because in the first couple of minutes we can listen to a kind of live song with an amateur sound, but later the quality sound changes and becomes very clean and much more attractive. Female vocals first, and now male ones with a very soft and charming sound, accompanied by excellent acoustic guitar, accurate drums, nice bass lines and flavored by the electric guitar riffs (which are not actually riffs) I like that kind of spacey sound they produce, and also that their music in moments brings me to the past, because it has some slices of 70s sound. In the last 20 seconds female voice returns just as in the first part of the song.

"Rain and what comes after" might be a nice example of what Phlox's music is about, I mean, one can share this particular track and introduce the band to new listeners. It is a nice and mellow track that can be easily enjoyed, and that may relax you. I like a lot the synth creating a kind of wind background here. "Fate" is like the reprise of "Oscar November", I am pretty sure it isn't, but the rhythm and sound is quite similar, with the difference that in this song they put vocals. Another thing I am sure, is that a band like Pink Floyd has to be one of their main influences.

Now, the most challenging composition comes next, with "YWNTS" a 25-minute epic of a salad of sounds that can be easily catalogue as progressive rock, for those who still neglect this band. Well, the start is pretty psychedelic due to the keyboards work. The first three minutes flow deliciously, and then all of a sudden you realize the vocals have joined. Again, some Floydian hints can be appreciated here. I love at 4:20 when the music becomes more aggressive, so not everything is mellow, there are moments in life when one has to strengthen things, in music is the same, and it is very healthy, so the music is not plain. At minute 7 there is a great instrumental passage, totally spacey and psych, if you have good headphones you will have a feast here, just close your eyes and let the music do the rest. I am really satisfied these guys dared to create a track like this, which has its own essence, but also that shares something different that Phlox had never offered before. Different passages are shown, a mixture of colors, nuances and textures, a clear example would be at minute 11 when the music slows down considerably, so you can sit and relax, have a moment of peace. Then keyboards appear again in its psych side, and as you can imagine, the music changes and flows perfectly. An excellent track, the best of the album (the best of Phlox's catalogue, actually), you have to listen to its entirety, because the final minutes are great, more intense and even emotional.

And the album finishes with "The Unknown", which returns to the early Phlox, with that soft and melancholic sound, here one can feel the album is finishing little by little, I mean, there is a constant goodbye feeling. So the album finishes. I like the band took risks so I have to be honest, the long epic track shines by itself, it is THE highlight of the album, while the rest of the songs are below. I like them all, some more than others, but there are like two sides of the album, the one with the short tracks which deserve 3 stars, and the one with the long one that deserves at least 4 stars, so it is like a 3.5 star album. You can listen to Phlox's music at their bandcamp page.

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 3/5 |

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