Pure Reason Revolution
The Dark Third
The Dark Third is the exciting debut from progressive rock band Pure Reason Revolution. Their first effort shows a very unique and interesting sound that will certainly win them respect among fans of not only prog, but also alternative rock. While the retro-prog nods are plentiful, they sound very modern and contemporary. The band lists Nirvana, Super Furry Animals, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and The Beach Boys as influences. They also have a strong pop sensibility; the songs are catchy and filled with hooks.
Overall the mood of the album is very surreal and dreamy, as are the lyrics. What separates Pure Reason Revolution from other modern prog bands is the fact they have a female singer –who is used to create some incredible vocal harmonies– and an obvious grunge influence in their guitar riffs. Atmosphere is the main focus of the music, shifting from dreamy ambiance to a powerful rock drive. The album opens with “Aeropause,” using vocal harmonies and electronics to create a smooth mood, then moves to full-blown rock with Nirvana-style riffs in “Goshens Remains.” The transition is so smooth you almost don’t notice it. The entire album is linked by these seamless transitions, giving it an almost stream-of-conscience quality.
Unlike many prog bands, the musicians focus on communicating an idea rather than simply showing off their technical skills. In fact, I can’t recall a single solo on this record. That’s not to say that the music is not complex; the vocal harmonies in “Bright Ambassadors of Morning” are incredibly intricate and the way the musicians blend throughout the entire album shows the group’s compositional skill. The band could use a little more variation in their sound since many of the ideas on this album are just variations on other themes in the album. Some of the lyrics, in typical prog fashion, come off as esoteric and pretentious. Apparently they’re supposed to deal with the nature of dreaming and conscience, but it all goes over my head. Maybe it’s because I’m so in awe of the group’s musicianship and unique sound.
As I said before, I believe The Dark Third will not just appeal to prog fans. The group’s sound is very much rooted in indie and alternative rock, so open-minded fans of those genres should also enjoy this album. Overall, The Dark Third is a stunning debut with a unique sound. I can see these guys going on to make even more interesting and exciting music.
Pure Reason Revolution: www.purereasonrevolution.com