Flight-09 - Rifflections

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Neurosis Records
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 48:26:00

Rifflections is an often heavy blues rock affair from Flight-09, a three-piece from Tashkent, Uzbekistan. If the name of that country sounds familiar to progressive music readers, aside from being geographically very close to the conflicts in the Middle East, it is because you recognize it as home base for Vitaly Menshikov of the Progressor site. Menshikov produced this CD and it has been released through Neurosis Records, the home to the prolific Rick Ray. Given the album's title, you know that guitar is the focus and that's certainly true, as 8 or 9 of the album's 10 songs put the guitar right there in the mix. And, production wise, it's not too bad at all.

The music echoes that which was coming out the US in the early to mid-70s (and in some cases, late 70s to early 80s) -- those that weren't quite progressive rock, weren't quite psychedelic, weren't quite blues rock, and weren't quite country rock but combined all of these elements together. This whole element is typified by "Fallin' Down." Guitarist Igor Savitch plays some down n' dirty slide here during the solo, all the while Constantine Savitch is letting a dark and bouncy bass rhythm throb underneath, punctuated by the taut drumming rom Artemy Piyanzin. Savitch also handles vocals, and while on a track like "Fallin' Down" they are okay, there are times when he sounds a great deal like Bob Dylan - that whiny, nasally, pinched sound that Dylan has. Neil Young might also be a good comparison. And, on "Colour Of My Pain," which concludes the album, I actually thought of Muppet Grover. And with that thought, lyrics aside, it sounds like a song that could easily be heard on Sesame Street, if a bit rockier than the music I remember from the show? Okay, it's been waaaaaaaay to long since I watched that show, so I don't really "remember," but that is the impression I am left with. The piece itself really is more something we might hear from The Black Crowes, that mellow, laid-black blues rock (of course, the funky "Just Do It" later on recalls for a moment that band's take on "Hard To Handle"). Savitch's better "voice" is that which he coaxes and seduces from his guitar -- he can bend notes right alongside the best of them. Savitch also plays keys and harmonica.

"Bad Girl" has bit of a funky feel, but also makes me think of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Sweet Hitch-hiker." "Up Or Down" begins as if we are going to get a heavy rocking tune, given the way the drums pound out the intro, but it comes just a few hairs short of plodding. This is leavened by another solid solo from Savitch. "Memory" begins as a delicate, atmospheric piece that retains a very somber mood. This comes in stark contrast to the AOR rocker "For Sale," which, aside from the vocal line, reminded me a bit of REO Speedwagon's "Someone Tonight" (Hi-Infidelity). It certainly has that same distorted, roughened guitar sound. It also, for a time, echoes Rick Ray's work.

If you don't mind the Dylan/Young-esque vocals, and accept that Flight-09 aren't really progressive rock at all, you'll probably enjoy listening to this CD. Savitch's guitar playing alone is worth giving the album a look-see, well, "listen-hear" to be precise.

I Pay (5:16) / Fallin' Down (4:00) / She's Dancing Alone (4:38) / If I Could (5:28) / Bad Girl (4:07) / Up Or Down (4:10) / Memory (6:01) / For Sale (5:30) / Just Do It (3:22) / Colour Of My Pain (5:50)

Igor Savitch - vocals, guitar, keyboards and harmonica
Constantine Savitch - fretted bass
Artemy Piyanzin - drums

Rifflections (2002)
Forbidden Lullabies (2003)
Human Nature (2005)

Genre: Rock

Origin UZ

Added: February 11th 2003
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website: www.progressor.net/flight09
Hits: 1221
Language: english


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