Fireworks

Exhibit A - 'Make Mine A Lobster' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/95/33/b9/1105_ExhibitAMakeMineALobstor_1300057527.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 13, 2011    
 
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A fantastic collection of songs that just gets better and better with each listen.

The album title may be a little unusual, but don't be fooled into thinking that Exhibit A are some sort of novelty band, as nothing could be further from the truth. 'Make Mine A Lobster' is the third effort from these UK melodic progsters (although it has been sixteen years since Exhibit A last released an album) and whist its title may not be very serious, the music itself is seriously excellent! With a sound grounded in 80's prog band such as IQ, Pallas, or Arena, although Saga can also be heard from time to time, what Exhibit A have managed to put together here is a collection of gloriously melodic songs that bring a wonderful balance of progressive dexterity, catchy hooks and glorious melodies. It is this ability to make some complex themes and intricate arrangements into hugely accessible and memorable songs that is the true strength of 'Make Mine A Lobster'. However all the constituent parts also get their chance to shine, with the interplay between the guitars of Nick Hampson and Neil Foss' keyboards being the driving force behind everything that is going on here, while the vocals of Dave Foss are the perfect accompaniment to the glorious melodies he is surrounded by. Grounding it all is the sharp, yet unfussy bass work and drumming of Steve Watts and Paul Caswell respectively, who manage to keep the rhythms fresh and interesting, while building a solid base for everything else to build from.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The perfect example of what Exhibit A are all about is opening track 'Touch The Stars', where an incisive riff bounces off a singing keyboard melody that completely sucks you into the song, before Hampson's stinging guitar solo cleverly changes the focus. Dave Foss's voice has a clarity and range that finds him totally comfortable whether he is being subtle and restrained, as he is during 'First To Last', or belting it out on the more raucous moments of 'Carousel'. He also has the ability to add character and poignancy to his delivery without ever becoming overbearingly dramatic. 'Rush Of Blood' takes its title literally with a heavily Rush influenced roaming bass line sparring with a staccato riff and some angular drumming. It is unashamedly like Geddy, Alex and Neil, but there's no denying that when it's done this well, it's more of a compliment than a complaint. 'Darker Sun' heads of in a different direction again, with an almost 80's electro-pop vibe crashing headlong into a Saga infused mix of keyboards and rapid drum fills to make a remarkably bright and breezy melody that plays against some melancholic lyrics to great effect.

Exhibit A have put together a fantastic collection of songs that just gets better and better with each listen and with its blend of sharp hooks and melodically progressive themes, is a welcome alternative to the huge amount of cookie cutter prog that is out there these days. All that is left to be said is – 'Make Mine A Lobster'!

Steven Reid

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