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Seventh Wave: Things to Come + psi-fi | FESTIVALPHOTO

Seventh Wave: Things to Come + psi-fi



Market Square/Border

Gull Records may not have a ring these days, but they were an interesting indie company in the seventies. If I say that JUDAS PRIEST was on their roster things might clear up. In 1972 vocalist/keyboards/synth etc man Ken Elliott hooked up with drummer/percussionist/xylophonist etc. Kieran O ´Connor. Their aim was to form a band featuring only tangents and drums, no more personnel and no touring. Their focus is very clear from the instrumental opener “Sky Scraper” onwards on their 1974 debut. Ken was then, as well as now, a session musician and a score maker, but the lust to create music was too strong. In the approximately four years the band existed the number of musicians involved grew steadily, from two up to eleven on the follow up “psi-fi”. Their output seems to the object of regular resissues, are they really that special?

Soundscapes, that feeling arrives and lingers in opener “Sky Scraper”. The vocals seem almost an obstacle in “Metropolis”. Their chosen path of psyche-pop-prog with some classical touches is remarkable, using the term compositions feels better than the ordinary “songs”. The intricate sound picture of SEVENTH WAVE raises them above many. I sometimes get the feeling of Dario Argento´s house band GOBLIN, but without setting the stage for bizarre murders of cause. In the seventies this lot was commercially inclined, which awarded them two singles; “Metropolis” and “Fail to See”. The latter is the meeting space for seventies grooves and quirky artistic performances. The mix of short instrumentals and special compositions provides SEVENTH WAVE with a unique own touch, complete with working refrains. The weakest spot, to me, is the light and fragile sounding vocals. But there are ample amounts of fine arrangements and skillfulness. The follow up was quite swiftly issued as Gull no doubt got exuberant feedback. The second time around the band was more complete in band terms, adding no less than nine musicians to the line-up, notably future VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR man Hugh Banton and ex GONG and future MIKE OLDFIELD collaborator Pete Lemer. The fuller sound also incorporates a hint of glam among the spaced prog. Yet more commercialism was injected, not least in “Manifestations” or the bluesy atmospheric “Loved by You”. In fact they come across as another band, like a neat and water combed DEEP PURPLE Mark III. Unfortunately they also become more of a standard seventies band in the process. The old features are still there, mainly in instrumentals like “”El Tuto”, while eight to ten minutes long compositions are somewhat the opposite of the testament of the fascinating debut. In spite of many intelligent movements SEVENTH WAVE would probably have been better off sticking to the formula of more and shorter songs they started out with. They still rise comfortably over many of their peers due to the combined abilities of the many musicians involved.”Star Palace of the Sombre Warrior” closes in cozy fashion, filled with all the fines elements of this great band. In spite of that, there were never to arrive a third effort.

Track List

"Things to Come"
Sky Scraper
Intercity Water Rat
Old Dog Song
Smog, Fog and Sunset
Fail to See
Communication Skyways
Things to Come
1999 1/2
Dance of the Eloi

Return to Foreverland
Roads to Rome
Loved by You
Only the Beginning
Aether Anthem
Astral Animal
El Tuto
Camera Obscura
Star Palace of the Sombre Warrior

Skribent: Mikael Johansson
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