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Kino: Radio Voltaire
Kino - Radio Voltaire CD Album Review

Kino: Radio Voltaire

Melodic Progressive Rock
5.0/5.0

If you have no knowledge of or simply don't remember Kino, have no worries, I drew a complete blank myself. Formed in 2005 by members of active UK prog bands, Kino featured vocalist and guitarist John Mitchell (Arena, The Urbane), bass player Pete Trewavas (Marillion, Transatlantic), keyboardist John Beck (It Bites), and drummer Chris Maitland (Porcupine Tree). The meeting was short-lived and Kino only recorded one album, Picture, after which the players returned to their respective gigs. The album was re-released on vinyl by InsideOut music in 2017. The label in turn asked Mitchell if he'd like to give Kino another go and he agreed. Contacting his former mates, Trewavas was on board, but with Craig Blundell (Frost*, Steve Wilson) on drums and Beck appearing as a guest musician.

Kino Band Photo

Kino

After 13 years, Kino return with their second album, Radio Voltaire, a fine album of melodic neo-progressive rock. Suffice to say, if you like Lonely Robot, Marillion, It Bites, Frost* or any of the players' current or former bands, you will totally understand Kino and want get this album. Mitchell is a fantastic melodic vocalist, and his guitar lines are sharp and refreshing, as always. Actually, I was hooked at the start with the title cut when Mitchell's guitar went soaring within the first minute. I knew then that I was going to like this album. Trewavas delivers his infectious bass groove, while Blundell backs him up with a rhythmic beat. While not as commanding as, say, Mitchell's guitar work, Beck's keyboard presence rises significantly within songs such as I Won't Break So Easily Any More or Keep The Faith.

There's also a good variety to the songs. Not unlike the aforementioned title track, I Don't Know Why leads with a strong guitar opening, but turns mostly on the melody in the vocals and piano wrapped in an AOR groove. I Won't Break So Easily Any More has something of an impatient pace as it speeds along in parts. Other songs juxtapose lighter parts with heavier segues (or vice versa) such as The Dead Club or Grey Shapes On Concrete Fields. Alternatively, there are songs that are inherently quieter. Temple Tudor moves mostly by voice over acoustic guitar. Similar, Warmth Of The Sun does the same but only with piano. Later, Keep The Faith also starts mellow building as a melodic rock anthem with synths before concluding with more of Mitchell's killer guitar leads.

If I sound impressed, I was. Kino's Radio Voltaire is simply exceptional, creative, and entertaining melodic progressive rock. Get it. Easily recommended.



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The Bottom Line

Kino's Radio Voltaire is simply exceptional, creative, and entertaining melodic progressive rock. Get it. Easily recommended.

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