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No Name / The No Name Experience - TNNE: Wonderland CD (album) cover

TNNE: WONDERLAND

No Name / The No Name Experience

Neo-Prog


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5 stars In the population of just 600,000 Luxembourg, there is only one avant-garde rock band. Its name is called no name. The band's style is new avant-garde, similar to IQ, Marillion and Arena. I think the biggest feature of their music is the keyboard, often have a long keyboard to play the paragraphs, plus the guitar that makes up their symphony rock features. The voice of the lead singer is very good, unlike some of the seventies avant-garde rock band as weak. The band has been established for twenty or three years, has undergone some changes, but the home and the keyboard did not change, which makes their overall style remains unchanged. Although the last album in their songs shorter, become more popular, but this latest studio album to retrieve the roots of the band: a lot of keyboard and guitar playing, comfortable voice and mini epic. In particular, the lead singer's high-pitched and passionate voice is exciting, the new drummer and saxophone hand is also very good, very strong drums, making their music is very modern, and saxophone to join their highlights of the music, especially in the A song. Although I might prefer "the other side", but this is also good, worth playing four stars.
Report this review (#1802492)
Posted Wednesday, October 11, 2017 | Review Permalink
5 stars TNNE's second album Wonderland has been released in September 2017. As the foreseen guitar player has left the band just a few weeks before the studio recordings the band signed with Claudio Cordero (Cast-Mexico) which then did a brilliant job! The new bass player Michel Casadei from France fits very well and together with the passionate drumer Gilles Wagner they are the perfect rhythm section for TNNE. In my opinion Wonderland is a GREAT neo-prog album and fans from IQ, Arena can buy the CD without any hesitation. My personal favourites are My Childish Mind, Final Fantasy. NB: - Vocalist and Keyboarder were members of No Name(Lux) which disbanded. - the bonus track "au fil du temps" is in french and music of this song has been composed by a fan of the band !
Report this review (#1802534)
Posted Thursday, October 12, 2017 | Review Permalink
5 stars The Secret Garden returns, hurrah! Surely 4 and The Clock... are both excellent albums (no matter if marked No Name or The No Name Experience), but they could be released also by IQ, or Jadis, or Sinister Street, or Sylvan. Well, I'm just trying to say that the two previous releases from Rukavina - Kiefer tandem and Co. lack some peculiarity/originality that made the early No Name's music distinctive. But Wonderland seems as diagnostic for the band as The Secret Garden or The Other Side. I remember effulgent 1990s when - while most of Russian prog fans of old generation were still sure that all the good music was definitively gone with the 1970s era, - a new era began. Some new vinyls and CDs came to the new- born Russian music market from Europe, US, Japan and South Korea, and many of us started to recognize a new stream in prog rock, but we associated the idea of 1990s prog mostly with Anglagard, Halloween, Anekdoten, Thule, Landberk, Malombra, Tale Cue, Devil Doll, Hecenia, Sagrado Coracao Da Terra, Men Of Lake etc. The branch of 1990s prog usually called neo-prog sensu stricto (Pendragon, IQ, Jadis etc) seemed to be more or less uniform, lightminded and having just limited capacities for growth and development. No Name was among the bands (along with Ziff, Last Turion, Sylvan and Final Conflict) who disproved that concept and clearly showed that Pendragon/IQ-type neo-prog may be as diverse and profound as, for example, 1990s Scandinavian or Italian dark progressive. And now, with Wonderland, I'm happy to see how No Name returns to their best. Not to their roots (because the album has a number of innovative moments) but to their best. To the instant complexity, inventiveness and refinement, as in beatific 1990s. The only feature of their early releases sadly missing on Wonderland is track(s) sung in Luxembourgish. Eng Oppen Dir, De Verstand (from The Secret Garden) and Mat Enger Train (from Zodiac) sound extraordinary... But I do realize that it's nothing but a fault-finding. You see I just like to listen to every prog band singing in their native language. I'm an epicure of various languages' sound. I enjoy Szallj Most Fel much more than Fly Away, you see. My apologies. It's difficult to cure, I do realize.
Report this review (#1803161)
Posted Friday, October 13, 2017 | Review Permalink
1 stars Hmm. Where to start. I find it very strange that this gets such high ratings, on a progressive rock forum. I do not only listen to old school bands, but I do have a liking for analog sounds, real dynamics and and an overall organic production. I also identify progressive rock as a genre where the music, lyrics and the ideas have several layers, and that one as a listener has to journey into the unknown and battle with the material. The themes of the songs on Wonderland is largely on the cliché side, and I don't find any mystery going on here.

In my ears this also sounds way too artificial and with a very straight forward pop-quality in the melodies and composing, even if there's the odd time signature or break thrown in here and there. Sometimes I get the feeling I'm listening to a machine, especially when I listen to the sound quality of the vocals. It's compressed so much that it almost removes all the humanity in the human voice. Even if this is well played technically, I think that it lacks soul, originality and creativity. In my opinion this is more of a mash up of 80's glam heavy, synthezied pop metal and advertising music, than it is progressive rock.

Report this review (#1827143)
Posted Tuesday, November 28, 2017 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover Prog Team
4 stars Three years on from 'The Clock That Went Backwards', Luxembourg's TNNE (which as the band was seen as a continuation on from No Name, was called TNNE for The No Name Experience) are back with the second album under that banner, or sixth studio album overall. There has been a major change in the line-up, with Claudio Cordero coming on board, who of course has been guitarist with the mighty Cast for more than ten years. That he has had a major impact on the band is never in doubt, with his more metallic guitar riffs and solos definitely enhancing their neo prog credentials. The PR company likens them to RPWL and IQ, and while I do struggle a little with this, I can understand why those comments have been made although TNNE are far heavier, without ever moving into the prog metal genre.

Alex Rukavina on keyboards is an excellent foil to Claudio, while both drummer Giles Wagner and bassist Michel Casadei della Chiesa are far more in your face and driving melodies than is usual, creating a quite different dynamic. The first time I played the album I discovered I was smiling all the way through, and my feelings towards it have only warmed. In many ways, it does hearken back to the Nineties, yet also feels incredibly current and with a powerful production it really does become an album that is surely at the vanguard of the current neo prog scene. Highly recommended, as with soaring vocals from Patrick Keifer, melodies and counter melodies, complexity and simplicity, layers and space, this is a prog album to savour.

Report this review (#1845175)
Posted Saturday, December 23, 2017 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars NO NAME released 4 albums between 1993 and 2006 with the last one("4") being the only one I've kept around. The band was dissolved then the singer and keyboardist started the band up again with fresh faces in 2014. This is album number two with the new lineup and even a new band name as they are called THE NO NAME EXPERIENCE now. In my opinion there's not a lot to choose between "4" and "Wonderland" with the exception of the new one being heavier which of course is really common with Neo-Prog bands these days.

"My Childish Mind" gets us started and that heaviness is evident right away with that rhythm section. Love that bass! Sax before a minute as it becomes fuller. The guitar follows then piano before the tempo picks up with sax over top around 2 minutes with vocals then a calm. Synths lead as it picks back up but a spacey calm follows after 3 minutes as contrasts continue. The synths are swirling before 6 1/2 minutes then another spacey calm as this continues plays out.

"Eye Of A Storm" opens with a heavy sound and soon it will be the heaviest we hear on this album. Heavy riffs as the synths roll in. Synths lead after a minute then the guitar. A calm follows then it's heavy again as contrasts continue. Vocals and a heavy atmosphere before 3 1/2 minutes. The guitar cries out a minute later then proceeds to solo. Lots of guitar the rest of the way. "Katrina Killed The Clown" has somewhat mellow vocals with piano. Bass will help out and it kicks in hard at 2 minutes with guitar over top. Not as good as the first two songs though.

"Wonderland" opens with drums and guitar as the vocals join in. The vocals stop before 1 1/2 minutes as the guitar leads then synths. Vocals are back quickly. Piano only before 2 1/2 minutes but the vocals return quickly followed by a full sound. Again it's instrumental with guitar leading before the vocals return before 5 1/2 minutes and it stays energetic to the end.

"Final Fantasy" might be my favourite along with the opener. Atmosphere and experimental sounds to begin with then vocals before a minute as the guitar, drums and bass kick in. Violin follows. I like his singing here and that heavy rhythm before 3 1/2 minutes. Synths lead before 4 1/2 minutes but not for long as the vocals return. So good! "Frozen In Time" sounds really good at first with that beat, guitar and bass in atmosphere. Synths start to pulse then the guitar leads as the vocals arrive just before 2 minutes. Some spoken words after 4 minutes but the vocals return quickly.

"Glittering Lights" opens with atmosphere and more as the vocals join in. Guitar and bass too. So much going on and we will get some riffs too. Kind of a cool track with upfront bass and background synths. His singing is really well done here as usual. "Light Weeks" ends it other than the bonus track. Atmosphere to start as picked guitar and soft vocals take over. A beat too. It's more urgent sounding(doesn't take much here) before 3 minutes including the vocals and guitar especially. Guitar and piano lead after 4 minutes as the vocals step aside briefly then it kicks back in. More guitar solos follow.

A pretty good Neo-Prog album right here and it's good to hear these guys again. There's not many bands out of Luxembourg is there?

Report this review (#1853284)
Posted Tuesday, January 2, 2018 | Review Permalink

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