(All Album Reviews by jlneudorf)
The United Kingdom band It came out with a new album in 2009 entitled Departure, their fourth release in the last fifteen years. The band takes a slightly different approach in making progressive rock, resulting in a bold, fresh sound that can be compared to bands like Porcupine Tree, Pink Floyd and alternative bands like The Cure, but please keep in mind that It are really their own band and not a copy cat of anyone. That, in and of itself, is a good enough reason to hear this album.
Nick Jackson (lead vocals, guitar) formed the band in 1994 and his joined by Andy Rowberry (lead guitar), James Dunn (bass), Will Chism (drums) and Rob Archibald (keyboards). They are a tight unit and are able to meld different styles including metal, alternative, pop, rock, psychedelic, space rock and blues.
They have an upbeat sound infused with a great sense of melody that you will have you tapping your feet as you listen to these eleven songs. The tunes are based heavily on the guitar, ranging from crunchy progressive metal riffs and screaming psychedelic leads to spaced out solos. Keyboards are used to fill in the gaps adding depth and atmosphere to the band's sound. If you are looking for solo extravaganzas and self indulgent playing you need to look elsewhere as you will not find that here. This is very much a total band effort with no one musician hogging the spotlight.
The album begins with the hard edged pop of "God Is Dead" with its crunchy grooves and psychedelic flavoured guitar. The catchy "Killing Me" would do well on the radio if given the chance and the Floydish "Car Crash" with its soothing acoustic sounds does well in creating a dreamy atmosphere. Another winner is the bluesy "Fighting For Freedom" with excellent harmonica, spacey keyboards and progressive metal riffs. A unique combination to say the least but it works beautifully.
My favourite song is the spaced out progressive rock of "Disappear", sounding a bit like Porcupine Tree and Pink Floyd, yet with a modern sound all their own. This one has some of the best guitar on the album, including melodic leads, crunchy, powerful riffs and pastoral acoustic rhythms. Jackson's voice is also at his melodic best.
This is a superb album with no weak songs. Departure should be making waves in the progressive work world, so what are you waiting for? A fine album indeed.