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Poor Genetic Material - Absence CD (album) cover

ABSENCE

Poor Genetic Material

 

Crossover Prog

3.97 | 13 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

kenethlevine
Special Collaborator
Prog-Folk Team
4 stars An oddly familiar scene, a fleeting scent, faint friendly voices, a touch just so, or a subtle awakening of long dormant taste buds...such playful prodding of senses past seems to multiply with the passage of time. We construct memory as our years advance, on the fly, such that what we recall is not our lived past but how our internal storyteller sees fit to reenact it. Nostalgia is not an uncommon theme among even the relatively young in our favorite bands, and it's certainly not necessary to dive back into the recent or distant past to cite numerous examples. But one that might be unfairly overlooked is the latest from the German/Scottish band POOR GENETIC MATERIAL.

Simply titled "Absence", its sensuous approach is to simulate the daydreaming that accompanies reflections of one's past, often beginning almost imperceptibly before morphing into sentiments raging from intense regret to wistfulness to unadulterated joie de vivre. The overall tempo varies from airborne spaciness to somewhat more plodding than the expectations set by prior PGM efforts whilst clinging to the band's lucid pairing of its musical and lyrical visions.

They have wisely retained the services of 2 of the best vocalists in the business, the father-son tandem of Martin and Phil Griffiths, as well as the colourful musings of flautist Pia Darmstaedter. These contributors are as always ably backed by the musical masterminds Philip Jaehne and Stefan Glomb, and a rhythm section that approximates the procession into later earthly life and perhaps beyond.

All tracks are lyrically effective with only "What if..." somewhat lacking in the nuanced interplay we have come to expect. The high point for me is the tandem of the affirming "chalk hill blues" and the aching of severed, perhaps imagined, connections cast by "Absconded".

My own regrets vis a vis the present recording are that it seems once again to elude the wider prog and musical community outside of a few enclaves in Europe; the band is too busy with other projects to be free to perform live; and this might be their last gift to us. I for one will deeply feel their absence.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |

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