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It rocks in roughly seven hundred different directions .,
This review is from: Scenes from the Second Storey (Audio CD)
Released in 1993 Scenes From a Second Storey is not only a remarkable debut album , it is a remarkable rock album . One of the great rock albums of the nineties i would say. Yet I'll wager hardly anyone has ever heard of it, let alone actually heard it.
The band, a trio, all hailed from California ,though most were resident in the U.K. and there is no doubt that there is an epic global sweep about the music on this album. The music isn't just based around colossal rock riffs, though there is thrillingly plenty of that , but encompasses a surprising range of stylistic nuances .There are strings, clarinet, choral inserts and the titular piano song which is not too surprisingly is a tender piano led ballad.
The pan-global feel of this album comes from the use of the mercurial Voix De Bulgares on the momentous "Home", a song with a memorable ascending riff and the chant by Catherine Gifford on "Desert Song "but also seems to be infused into the music's DNA. The strings on "Purity " and the clarinet on "Seven " add a certain exotic frisson too. The vocals by Robin Proper-Sheppard are utterly committed , delivered with a severity that matches the often stentorian chords and thumping percussion.
Scenes From a Second Storey is no longer widely available on CD but it's one of those great rock albums ( along with most of American Music Clubs back catalogue) that should be re-issued with undue haste. It's a great example ,along with CodeinesFrigid Stars or Slints, Spiderland , of a rock album that offers a fresh vital take on a genre always on the brink of stagnation . It rocks alright but in about seven hundred different directions.