Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Polymers and more...

Through the amazing wonder of Bandcamp, I became aware of an album called Lens by UK musician Sam Dudley. A couple of mails back and forth and I found out that he made Lens as part of his work load en route to his degree in Music Commercial Composition & Technology degree. Lens is about a robot and you should check out the link because Sam has a full story treatment and sketches, as well as the download link for Lens which is on Birmingham, UK indie label Baby Jump Records. Lens is reminiscent of Thom Yorke's solo work, but is not derivative of Thom's sound. Lens stands out on its own and as you listen with headphones you can imagine the video that you would make of this robot. Whenever music elicits imagery in you, it has done its job.

<a href="">Eyes Open by Sam Dudley</a>

A few days after downloading Lens I came across another cool theme album on Bandcamp called The Elemental Suite by another talented UK musician named Jake Stacey. After telling Sam that I had just downloaded Jake's album, Sam told me the two of them were classmates at school, friends, and in a band named Polymers together. Behold the random nature of on-line music!

<a href="">The Icarus Account by Jake Stacey</a>

Polymers are :

Sam Dudley: lead Vocals/ Synth/ Guitar/ Awesomeness man
Chris Goodall: Lead Guitar/ Backing vocals
Jake Stacey: Rhythm Guitar/ Keys/ Backing Vocals
Pat: Bass / Babe Magnet
Mike John: Drums / Teaboy

I've had the UK music crew's music for a little while now and have listened to all of them quite a bit. Polymers has roots in the more aggressive prog. rock of Rush as well as the more recent prog. rock of Coheed and Cambria. I really enjoy "Ropes" which has a fiery solo just under the mix that runs for most of the song. Also, the break and the runs at the end are really cool.

<a href="">Escape The Cage by Polymers</a>

Showing a slightly different sound on the beginning of "Firehead", the band uses a subdued start and builds nicely. Really enjoyed the drumming on this one.

Overall Polymers is a good first album that has a few really good songs on it. It will be interesting to see the direction they go from here. Somehow prog rock became a dirty word to some. Maybe we have Yes and Rush far enough in the rear view to let the up and coming prog rockers like Polymers make a new brand of prog. I love the jazz timing and flourishes on a song like "Hearts Blazing". In that respect, Polymers are well on the road to not just doing tricks with the timing but trying to write rounded songs.

It's really interesting to have both Sam's and Jake's solo work as well as Polymers. It really shows how their sounds/interests converge and diverge. Thanks to Sam for all the help!


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