(All Album Reviews by jlneudorf)
Taurus & Pisces is the Dutch duo of Gert Bruins (Pisces) and Peter Everts (Taurus). The two met in 1985 and have remained good friends ever since. Everts has played guitar in several bands since 1978 while Bruins is relatively new to the music scene and started out playing in the bands Life Less Serious and Dikke Bertha. In 2003 the pair began working on material and in 2008 Inertia was released.
The band plays a subdued style of melodic progressive rock with touches of symphonic and neo and maybe even occasional nods to post rock. Gentle acoustic guitar and gently flowing keyboards give this music a dreaminess that just begs to be heard especially if you appreciate a good melody. The band also incorporates subtle chugging electric riffs, bordering on metal, but never becoming very heavy. With music this mellow there is always a danger of the songs becoming too similar to one another but I never found this to be the case. Scattered throughout the disc I hear bits and pieces of Porcupine Tree, Pink Floyd, Blackfield and No-Man. As in those bands there is an undercurrent of melancholy running through some of the compositions but I never found this music depressing or hard to listen to.
"Things Can Turn" is a strong first track with a brooding atmosphere and laid back keys and vocals. Bruins has a very nice voice ideally suited to the band's languid style of prog. "Borderline" is a fine slice of melodic progressive rock with nice background keyboards and excellent acoustic and electric guitar. The opening playground sounds of "Schooldays" invokes memories of days gone by and the gentle acoustic guitar and lush sounding string synths makes this one of the album's most melodic moments. The pretty melodies continue in "Same", featuring electric lead guitar over a bed of keyboards and the next two tracks, "Politics" and "Under My Skin" recall Blackfield, with the latter boasting wonderful harmonies reminiscent of The Beatles.
I really liked this album and considering it is a debut makes it that much better. Although it does not break any new territory, Inertia is a finely crafted album with plenty of strong melodies. If you enjoy the mellower side of prog and any of the bands listed above, Taurus & Pisces should be worthy of your attention.