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Tangent, The: Comm
The Tangent Comm album new music review

Tangent, The: Comm

Progressive Rock
4.5/5.0

Never to be underestimated, The Tangent arrives with another prog rock tour-de-force, perhaps their best to date, in Comm. The concept of the album is both enigmatically simple and profound: to consider the advancement of communication (comm) technology in the last hundred years and it's effect upon us. The Tangent visits early significance with the role of morse code in the rescue of Titanic survivors (Titanic Calls Carpathia) to the ubiquitous modern presence of connection and communication in an Internet world (Wiki Man). For the music, it's certainly not unexpected that The Tangent relies heavily upon electronica to convey the 'feel' of communication. Electronica and synthesizers are used lavishly on the two aforementioned pieces.

To the beginning and the longest piece, Wiki Man (perhaps a play on the 'wicker man'), stirs the imaginations of thought and music when exploring the Internet phenomena. It's a lavish piece with a seemingly infinite amount of twists, even amongst all the electronica. The best being the piano around seven minutes, bass and piano around nine and a half, or the grand section of bass, guitar, and piano at 10 minutes. The question, however, remains, is the arrangement pure prog complexity or just busy? And would one say the same for the closing piece Titanic Calls Carpathia? Perhaps not, though those machinations of swerving movements are equal to Wiki Man. A nice touch is the expressive bass, and a small dose of saxophone.

In between, The Tangent offers more traditional prog and rock on The Mind's Eyes, and gives the listener a welcome respite from all the electronica (although it's still there). The bass once more is stylish, and we get our first glimpse of guitarist Luke Machin's expertise. Shoot Them Down, a sometimes lighter piece, is more easily grasped in its moderate pace; the feature are the execution of bass and drums, and Machin's delightful solo. Finally, there is Tech Support Guy, easily the most clever and entertaining song on Comm. First, the clever lyrics tell the troubling story of a tech support guy having a rather challenging day keeping technology in its place for productive purposes. Next, the bits of old school Hammond, flute, and light saxophone over a lively rock fusion foundation make for a blissful listening experience. Comm is worth the purchase for this song alone.

The Tangent's Comm, as one would expect, is intriguing and entertaining, and is made more so with several listens. Yet, if you're not big on the extensive use of electronica or synthesizers, the work may put you off. Otherwise, Comm is well recommended.





CraigHartranft.net - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

In Short

The Tangent's Comm, as one would expect, is intriguing and entertaining, and is made more so with several listens. Comm is sophisticated and classic progressive rock.

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