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Kaprekar's Constant - 'Fate Outsmarts Desire' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/d8/92/57/kaprekars-cpnstant-fate-outsmarts-desire-75-1515616571.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 10, 2018    
 
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A very promising debut indeed.

Kaprekar's Constant describe themselves as a collective rather than a band, and as such they include in their number their web developer and artist. They inhabit a style that sits alongside that of Big Big Train and early Genesis, being both pastoral and British. Alongside the former, their songs and lyrics are rooted in real stories and they have the ability to carry these off with both words and music.

The album consists of six tracks which alternate between short and epic numbers, with their subject matter ranging between the old and contemporary. 'Hallsands' covers the story of a Devon village that was washed away after dredging undermined the beach in the early part of the 20th century, 'Blue Bird' is about Sir Malcolm Campbell's attempt to break the Land Speed Record in the twenties, while 'Four-Faced Liar' recalls the events of the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013 and 'Houdini – King of Cards' tells the story of the famous escapologist.

I was slightly concerned with the opening vocal of first track 'Hors D'Oeuvre' which was overtly Folky (olde worlde Folk) but that's a short aberration. The use of both male and female vocals is a pleasing touch. The epic '...Bird' moves through various phases, some that really convey speed while the storytelling sections are delightful with lovely instrumentation; the acoustic guitar, piano and flute work are all notable. The instrumental break has a fine melody and even the saxophone isn't obtrusive. There are elements of the second instrumental section that put me in mind of Weather Report's 'Birdland'.

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'Pearl Of The Lake' mixes a nice electric piano with a modern drum pattern before acoustic guitar and strings come to the fore. Some of Bill Jefferson's vocal delivery during 'Hallsands' makes me think of Shane MacGowan (The Pogues), while '...Liar' uses actual Police radio communications; there are hints of latter day Pink Floyd about this number.

The lengthy Houdini number closes out the album and this features the delightful vocals of Dorie Jackson and the saxophone of David Jackson (Van der Graaf Generator), it's another multi-section piece.

Whilst this is a very promising debut indeed, one which puts them on the heels of BBT, it has to be said that in the song-writing stakes they've a way to go to catch the undoubted kings of the genre; by comparison the tracks don't flow quite as easily.

Gary Marshall

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