Band: Cranium Pie
Band Website: http://craniumpie.co.uk/
Label: Fruits de Mer Records
Label Website: www.fruitsdemerrecords.com
Release Date: 2011
Now this is a tasty bit of progressive psychedelia! This is the first full-length album from the band Cranium Pieand its entitled Mechanisms Pt. 1. This UK based quintet is made up of Rob Appleton (keyboards, synths, voices), Tim Bray (bells, whistles, Theremin, effects, voices), Dan Herra (guitars, voices), Steve Meadows (bass) and Julian Smith (drums, voices). It’s clear from the opening sounds these guys love that late sixties, early seventies trippy space-rock sound. Their music is a mix of many sounds, but when I boil it all down it’s kind of like Pink Floyd mashed with Tangerine Dream. Some might call it retro, but if that’s the music you’re creating today it’s not just nostalgic, it’s cool.
Mechanisms Pt. 1 is made up of 6 tracks, three of which are just under five-minutes, the other three longer. We start off with “This was Now” [4:57] a track that begins with synth white-noise sounds that slowly grow in volume with looped bleeps building into a hypnotic rhythm until everything stops, we hear some strange phased voice clips and then a series of softer acoustic bits that don’t really go anywhere. The next track “Rememberr” [6:30] displays a real Floyd feel with its instrumentation and playing style. Affected voices maintain a spacey ethereal mood. The track is primarily mid-tempo and changes many times from one rhythm signature to another. It’s a pleasant, relaxing vibe with organ and guitar noodling away, while strange sound effects drift from one speaker to the next. One of the retro motifs is how the music shifts gears and pivots around chunky organ fills while distorted guitar-sounds wail away in the background. Vocals echo here and there, strange voice clips are interjected all to convey an amazing mind-trip.
Purists will be intrigued that Mechanisms Pt. 1 is being released on vinyl, coloured vinyl at that limited to 500 copies. If you happen to be a fan of the style talked about above and have a lot of bands like Hawkwind, Nektar and Arthur Brown in your collection, Cranium Pie will fit very nicely in amongst that group. It’s a way-cool piece of trippy music that’s well-crafted and convincingly performed. Great job…I love it.