dinsdag 21 september 2021

Museum of Tomorrow. The Speed of Sound

Museum Of Tomorrow? It is more as if I stepped into a time machine, got out in 1977 and heard this album, filled with music for tomorrow. 'As time stood still', might have been a better album title, but far from progressive sounding as the actual title is.

Yesterday, now, tomorrow? Who cares when listening to an album so filled with energetic songs that bring together the best of punk, postpunk and some Britpop that leans heavily on what all that came before in pop-rock. The Speed of Sound does a lot of things very right on Museum Of Tomorrow.

The cradle of The Speed of Sound goes all the way back to Manchester, 1987. The band has gone through many incarnations and released four albums before. The current line up is together for four years but remains the vehicle for the songs of guitarist, singer John Armstrong. Together with singer, guitarist Ann-Marie Crowley Armstrong alternates lead vocals giving the band a different vocal/focal point, making the album so much stronger because of it.

Come 2021 and The Speed of Sound releases its fifth album, after releasing a string of singles on its new, American label. The influences range back as far as the mid 1960s. 'Wired' with a slightly different arrangement would easily have fitted on 'Takes Off', Jefferson Airplane's debut album, when it was still a folk influenced band. Don't be surprised when a little 12 string Rickenbacker sound à la Roger (Jim) McGuinn comes by as well. It goes to show how wide influences are.

Time has not stood still for this band. The clear drumming on the cymbals by John Broadhurst is of a subtlety no punkrock band ever commanded and the same goes for the keyboard playing by Henry Armstrong, John's son. Things really become great fun when all these influences come together in one song: 'Shadow Factory'. 60s folkrock, The Stranglers punk and a great rock guitar solo. The song works too.

Promo photo: Shay Rowan
It almost sounds like a guessing game, doesn't it? Who finds the most influences? Make no mistake, what comes first on Museum Of Tomorrow is the quality of the band's songs themselves. They are full of energy, the singing between Armstrong and Crowley is great, the melodies nearly all stand out. Museum Of Tomorrow isn't like a great, long lost album from 1980. For that the sound is too good and the quality of the players too high. This isn't a punk outfit having learned to play a guitar the day before yesterday. The Speed of Sound knows exactly how it wants to sound and has the songs to stand out. Most of all it isn't an album that is filled with the sound of doom 1980 bands were so good at, and for me totally uninteresting for the most part. The band has the joy of playing and the skills to bring that joy across. A double winner.

Wout de Natris

Geen opmerkingen:

Een reactie posten