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4.6 out of 5 stars20
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 5 August 2013
Listening to Purson and debut album 'The Circle and the Blue Door', we coalesce in an aural reverie of the nostalgic, their sound unashamedly woven within musical echoes of the past and presenting a relevance to the present no more startling than the simple fact it is often startling good, if you like that sound, as I do.

The prog-folk opening to first song 'Wake Up Sleepy Head' sets the aural landscape with echoing vocal, acoustic guitar, flute, and mellotron as lush backdrop, so a resonance of Caravan and King Crimson, whilst lead singer Rosie Cunningham introduces her gorgeous vocal softly before segueing into second 'The Contract' where it is so clearly reminiscent of Curved Air's Sonja Kristina. Third 'Spiderwood Farm' is more overtly psychedelic with its heavy fuzzed, wah wah guitar and then other effects - and possibly an approximation to harpsichord inside the mix - as the rock riff with barebacked vocal roots the sound even more firmly in the past.

Fifth and single release [I got my vinyl copy a while ago] 'Leaning On A Bear' is the most sonically reflective of Curved Air, with a smattering of Nice thrown in by the organ and drum rhythms, and it is a glorious recreation of progrock, if you like that sound, as I do. Sixth 'Tempest and the Tide' exudes a more folky base, with lyrics that evoke fantasy and the occult as requisites for this broad retro-genre, and the mellotron again layers its lush backdrop. Seventh 'Mavericks and Mystics' foregrounds Cunningham's powerful vocal with a return to rock riffs to encourage headbanging, if you like that impulse, as I do. Citing influences that range from The Beatles to David Bowie to Slade, eighth 'Well Spoiled Machine' starts more with a wiff of The Doors and then moves quickly back into its prog roots, ending on classic distortion effects. Ninth 'Sapphire Ward' is pounding and loud with effective guitar effects but reflecting at this stage of the album a need for more creativity and variety in the songwriting to produce that album which fully establishes its mark, as much as it looks to the past for inspiration. By closer 'Tragic Catastrophe', those 60s/70s effects engage but don't capture as wholly as I'd like, though Cunningham's vocal is the quality that is sustained throughout, and make this album still highly recommended.

I'd love to catch this band live and will be attempting to do so once they return from Europe where there is perhaps a greater appreciation of this excellent musical reflection of the past.
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on 23 May 2013
Damn that's a good album!
Definitly less Sabbath-driven than most other releases on the label Rise Above, Purson showcases the talents of (a.o.)Rosalie Cunningham on vocals, guitars and keyboards in a west coast/ hard rockin'/ psychedelic way.
The 70's come to mind, of course. The Doors, Jefferson Airplaine but also Deep Purple and (of course) Black Sabbath.
The lady has got a fine voice, not utterly brilliant, but perfectly in symbiosis with the genre (think Grace Slick meets Candice Night).
Great song-writting, amazingly well crafted songs and a delightful taste for psychedelic effects with a great taste in the arrangements department.
If you're into 70's music and other bands like BIGELF, this one will more than likely please you!
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on 2 May 2013
What do you get if you stick Siouxsie Sioux, Circulus, early Deep Purple, Jefferson Airplane, a touch of Astra, Black Sabbath and a Cantrerbury fuzz organ and some psychedelics in a blender? Well a red goo of liquidised entrails and splintered bone obviously!
But what if it was a metaphorical musical blender? Well the end result would be Purson. Probably.
Issued on the inestimable Rise Above label, it's a worthy Pop/Fuzz/Psychedelic companion piece to Uncle Acid's Sabbath/Sludge/Psychedelic Mind Control.

Purson was a great king of HELL served by 22 legions of demons and after hearing The Circle and the Blue Door, make that 22 legions plus me!
Primarily the work of the divine Ms Rosalie Cunningham she plays everything bar Bass, Sax and drums (hey chicks can't play drums...)
She plays plenty of mellotron which is a good thing with lots of it on the first couple of tracks. Spiderwood Farm is the strand out track at the moment, a most welcome earworm. Leaning on a Bear gets me breaking out my 60s style idiot dance (what doesn't? - ed.) and Well Spoiled Machine is catchier than Goose Grass.

So, if you want a modern record which sounds as if it could be a classy old record then tune in, turn on, take the Circle line and exit via the Blue Door.
What are you doing, BUY, go on, make like Aphrodite's Child and DO IT!
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on 26 August 2013
I heard a few tracks beforehand on Spotify and decided I had to get this. The tracks on Spotify are representative of the album as a whole, so you should know what to expect. No dud tracks at all. I like that the sound range is not compressed too high (as is mostly the case these days). Rosalie Cunningham's raunchy vocals I love to bits. What a change from the chirpy vocals of many current female singers. Hope they release another album soon.
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on 8 August 2015
Think Siouxsie and the Banshees, but without the punkiness. Think Curved Air, but without the violins. Think of some dreamy psychedelic soft rock with a 70s/80s feel to it; mixed with keyboards; acoustic and electric guitars, and some melotrons on top as well. Basically, that is what Purson and this album sound like.
The opening track begins with some quiet acoustic guitars, sounding like some kind of lullaby. Bizarrely, this tune is called Wake Up Sleepyhead. The amps are cranked up a little for another good tune Spiderwood Farm .I would like to know where Spiderwood Farm is? Does it exist, I wonder? Tempest and The Tide is a good slice of drifting psychedelia that is not only nice to listen to, is also one of the best songs on the album; while Leaning on a Bear is an uptempo danceable number that would have made a good single. As for leaning on a bear thou; I wouldn't try that if I were you or it might have you for lunch!
Now, isnt it nice when a British band comes along that "does their thing" and not copy or sound too much like every other current act you hear on mainstream radio or the top 40 nowdays.
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on 6 December 2014
A wonderful album full of retro psychedelic rock, brought bang up to date with catchy, twisty melodies vibrantly drawn into life by the superb musicianship of each band member, and all of it underpinning the sweeping vocals of Rosalie Cunningham. Each track bursts into life fully formed and grabs your attention on the spot. I was doing the ironing when I listened to this for the first time, and I can honestly say it was probably the only time I've ever enjoyed doing it. A musical delight that took me very pleasantly by surprise. On the strength of this album alone they've made it onto my 'must see live' list.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have more ironing to do ... and I'm quite looking forward to it!
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on 23 May 2013
Purson were a support act I had never heard of but within minutes I wanted an album. I had a little wait for one to be released but every track is a gem and was well worth waiting for. Apart from the era it takes you to, it is music that actually goes somewhere. I can't actually say where but your where may be somewhere else...... the main thing is that this album is very good. Nuff said.
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on 25 August 2013
One of the most authentic and original acts in a very long time with a hyper-charismatic frontwoman, Rosalie Cunningham that also plays lead-guitar! \m/

Their music is a unique blend of Retro-Prog, Proto-Doom and Psychedelic Rock with an overall Baroque aura to it!

The vinyl sounds great!!!

My only complain about it all would be the fact that my copy got a little bent during shipping/or handling process... But overall it's a musthave for all Black Sabbath, Curved Air, Blood Ceremony and Prog Rock lovers as it is simply the BEST DEBUT ALBUM by a New Band in 2013!!!!
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on 5 November 2015
This is from the underground end of reviewing so not commercially biased as the others the 3 is for Rosie's vocal as its divine but the music draws too much repetition to be revered over its good but the obvious limited abilities of Rosie's guitar skills (hexvessel iron marsh) are evident the stomp box is her thing and its cool but not in abundance that said there is sea shanty and prog touches throughout but ultimately this is flawed by a lack of letting go it must be said again the vocal is outstanding
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on 1 October 2014
Purson are a new band that I was introduced to via the Planet Rock radio station when I heard the single Danse Macabre (the EP it's on is out this month) played there. On the strength of that I bought this album and I really like it, the feel of the music is very retro in places with the use of Mellotron keyboards and phased guitar effects but it also has a modern rock sound too. Great stuff and I look forward to hearing more from Purson in the future
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