Sunday, 13 October 2013


Handwrist - Branching Out 
Handwrist - Branching Out

Who's up for a 3 track instrumental prog-rock album but a solo artist from Lisbon, Portugal, that contains "material not government approved...possibly the opposite"? The three tracks contained in this collection - 'Prologue', 'Monologue' and 'Epilogue' - total just under an hour of music so must surely be considered an album in terms of length but each song has its own movements as well, making this a truly prog record. There are elements of Jazz, some wonderfully loose rock drumming and the kind of instrumental interplay that made the Doors and Frank Zappa so well respected. However, there are also moments of plain old nutsiness that sound like the theme tunes from Children's TV in the twilight zone.

By the time we venture in to the 2nd movement of this album, the tone takes a more progressively medieval approach and you can fully imagine Rick Wakeman and pals getting excited by this kind of fair. For my money, by this point it's all getting a bit self indulgent but then I don't really know what I expected from a three track, one hour long instrumental album entirely written and performed by one person with an obvious axe to grind about the state of music - his own press blurb boldly states "Hopefully there are freaks who have outgrown the ordinary and who like a little adventure in their life, or at least in their MP3 player".  Don't get me wrong, there are some nice ideas here and individual sections have their appeal but it's just not for me. I fully accept that there is a time and a place for this music but I'm nowhere near stoned enough or in a big enough bean bag to fully appreciate it. Mind you, it's all being offered up as a free download so you might as well pop it in on your MP3 player and have a good old freak out on the bus to work tomorrow.

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