CD Reviews

The Dreaming Tree - 'Progress Has No Patience' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 11, 2010    
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A very enjoyable collection of songs that keep your interest through.

It’s not often that I find myself agreeing with the hyperbole that tends to leap off the pages of the promotional blurb that invariably accompanies a new release, however in this case I’ll make an exception. 
“The Dreaming Tree strives to stamp their unique style on the listening public. Likened to such diverse artists as Steely Dan, Spock’s Beard, Alan Parson Project and Dream Theater, the result is a truly varied collection that refuses to be tied to any one genre”.
I couldn’t have put it better myself. Well, maybe I could because I’d have added a number of other artists who come to mind at various junctures. In many ways I am reminded of the ethos of 10CC, one of the first bands I fell in love with. They had an uncanny knack of surprising you with their eclectic mix of Pop, Prog and almost anything you care to mention. They also had a great sense of humour, which TDT also seem to enjoy. They may not sound just like 10CC, but they have that certain quality to produce great songs in a variety of styles. At times I hear nuances of the New Romantic genre as well as West Coast and it all makes for a very pleasing collection indeed.
The album opens with ‘Silence Won’t Steal’ which has nice neo-Prog sentiments that harks at Jadis. There’s a nice switch of style that heralds the guitar solo before another change suddenly gives us a Jamie Cullum style vocal section. It may sound strange, but it really works. ‘Arcadia’ opens with a Dream Theater / Black Sabbath-lite riff which is joined by a really dirty Hammond Organ sound a la Beardfish / Deep Purple. When the vocals arrive I’m reminded of Nik Kershaw, whilst there’s a fine synth solo.
‘Grown Too Small’ is a fabulous track. It opens with a piano refrain that could be lifted from a Billy Joel song, albeit with a hint of Randy Newman. When the song gets going I am immediately put in mind of Venice and their beautiful West Coast vibe. The harmonies are glorious, the chorus immediately memorable making a song of great class.
‘Love And The Heart’ maintains the feel of the previous tune, for a while, with its lovely melody and very strong chorus. Just when you think it’s settled into a groove they throw in a funky electric piano break. The arrangement of the following track, ‘Moult’ is top class. Again, it starts slowly with a pleasant swagger and yet more delicious harmonies. A Dave Gilmour (Pink Floyd) solo is a delight and this leads to an increase in tempo and an extended instrumental passage that injects a wonderful urgency into proceedings building to the big finish.
‘Ophidia’ opens with some lovely Hammond and a simple but great guitar riff that morphs into a song that has a huge Rush vibe, although with a Prog edge and another Floyd-ian solo. The chorus is absolutely terrific and has stuck in my head. ‘Slender Versions Of The Truth’ is another magnificent composition that I am struggling to review in a way that won’t put people off because my thoughts are towards some bands that wouldn’t ordinarily feature in this magazine, but you’ll have to trust me. References to Spock’s Beard, The Flower Kings and Kaipa arise after the opening section and the use of some soundtrack snippets from cartoons is very clever and amusing. ‘You The One’ has a Hard Rock riff that quickly changes groove into neo-Prog territory. I can hear the influence of producer Karl Groom (Threshold) on the guitars. Beardfish comes to mind again when the song bursts out of its shell and that Hammond does a splendid job of ramping up the power.
‘Tide And The Mast’ is a short number with a 60’s feel. I can’t say I like the vocal arrangement where words are elongated and make it sound as if they ran out of ideas for lyrics. ‘Whisper Song’ takes the pace down and it flows in fine style. Just to confound us further they wrap up proceedings with a really laid back soft jazz number in the form of ‘The Only Truth’ where the piano playing is wonderful.
Sure, this is an eclectic mix but it’s a very enjoyable collection of songs that keep your interest through. I’m very impressed.

Gary Marshall

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