(All Album Reviews by Windhawk)
(originally written for www.progressor.net)
Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, Tinkicker is a quartet of experienced musicians, judging by the photos on their homepage. Not much is known about the band, as their site doesn't contain much info about the musicians nor the group. They were signed by Russian label MALS earlier this year, and their debut album Soliloquy of the Transparent Boy was released shortly after.
The goal Tinkicker had when making this album was to produce a classic rock opera, with a concept story binding the album together. Furthermore, they sought to incorporate the style and manners of two major influences on this release, namely Pink Floyd and Black Sabbath. Indeed, the sound they sought is described as Pink Sabbath on their homepage.
To be honest, the one goal the bands fails to achieve is to get that particular sound going. Clearly defined influences from Pink Floyd can only be heard on one composition, “Lament”. The spacey, drawn out guitar chords and the generally dark atmosphere of this tune do have many similarities with Pink Floyd. What's missing on this particular track is the Black Sabbath influences though, but that one is utilized a number of times throughout; in shorter or longer segments of various tunes. What I didn't find at all were compositions mixing those two influences, which at least indicates to me that these tunes aren't extremely obvious in style and manner.
Indeed, my basic impression of the compositions on this release is that most of them are highly influenced by old school hard rock and metal. Kicking off many tunes with acoustic or mellow guitar licks in a manner reminding of bands like Triumph and Rush, and then evolving the tune by adding distorted fuzz guitar licks in the background, as staccato riff patterns in a more central place in the soundscape or by adding drawn out heavy chords in a distinctly metal manner. Bands like Rush and Triumph actually seems to more of an influence than both Sabbath and Floyd. However, style and performance is by far as intricate as with those bands, and more often than not the songs here come across as rather typical old school hard rock, spiced with some metal crunch from time to time in form of riff patterns as well as slow, doom-tinged Black Sabbath chords.
If not a rock opera per se, then at least Tinkicker's debut album succeeds in style when it comes to telling a story through all the albums compositions, and manage to tie all tunes together by means of either melody lines or sounds crossing over from one tune till the next. As the number of characters in the concept story is rather limited I'm a bit unsure if the term rock opera applies, but this release certainly fills all needed criteria for being a concept album.
Anyhow, Tinkicker takes us through an enjoyable trip on this release. The songs are generally good, and it's obvious that there's a lot of passion invested in this project. But as enjoyable as this release is, it never manage to impress me. Partially due to somewhat weak production; the sound quality do leave a bit to be desired, the mix is a tad on the weak side too, and the song separation could have been better. But the songs themselves are also found a bit wanting - none of them are bad but none of them really manage to impress either. Good stuff, but it won't set the world on fire.
Fans of old school hard rock and metal should find this release rather interesting, especially those into concept albums. As there are some influences from progressive rock to be found, this release might be found worthwhile to be checked out by that crowd as well, in particular those among them fond of concept albums.
My rating: 64/100
(All Album Reviews by jlneudorf)
Tinkicker hail from Copenhagen, Denmark and this is their debut album. According to their website the band’s major influences are Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd hence the term “Pink Sabbath”. While I can hear influences of both bands there is more of a Sabbath influence while the Floyd references appear to be quite subtle in my humble opinion. I can also hear some early 70’s Rush influence in their music. This album is definitely old school heavy rock/metal with some proggy elements thrown in, particularly in the use of samples. Many of the songs take on the slow dirge of doom metal conveying the necessary melancholy of the subject matter. There are no keyboards to help round out the sound but this is not a real negative because the band’s music is really suited for the guitar. While the music is quite heavy it is also very melodic with some nice melodies found throughout. The use of acoustic guitar helps in this regard as do the vocals of Klaus Bastian. He has a pretty unique voice that has really grown on me after a few listens. Bastian’s use of background vocals is also very effective and some of the song’s choruses are quite pleasing.
This is a concept album about the trials and tribulations of man. That in itself could be construed as progressive in nature and I have also heard this album referred to as a rock opera which may be an accurate description. The album begins with a short musical interlude and the deep voice of Klaus. It quickly breaks into the second song “Rite Of Passage” a pretty catchy number with some nice guitar chords. The use of background effects holds the listener’s attention. The heavy riffage definitely reminds me of Black Sabbath.
Another song I quite like is “Lament”. This one has an early Floyd vibe with Floyd-like sound effects, nice background vocals, and a slow plodding rhythm. Some nice acoustic guitar enhances the mood.
While the band is not breaking any new ground this is still a solid and enjoyable release especially for those who like their heavy rock/metal in a 70’s vein. And of course, if you like Black Sabbath with some Pink Floyd elements thrown in, by all means get this release.
Rating: 7 (out of ten)
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf