Black Noodle Project - And Life Goes On...

Year of Release: 2005
Label: B-Smile Records
Catalog Number: BS001
Format: CD
Total Time: 60:25:00

Relaxed and spacey textures characterize the music from The Black Noodle Project. It's moody music detailing the depressed state of mind of someone who has lost someone they loved - not through death this time (I don't think), just that despair that comes from a relationship that breaks up. There are heavier, rockier passages scattered throughout, but for the most part, this is just a few shades above terribly gloomy. And you might think this quartet were from Sweden, given this dark subject (the Flower Kings notwithstanding), but The Black Noodle Project are from France and And Life Goes On... is their first release.

These mellow moods will remind one of various Swedish acts - Landberk, Anglagard, Anekdoten - as well as a few British ones - Pink Floyd and Shadowland (the long dormant Clive Nolan project). What characterizes the characterizations are acoustic guitar textures; soaring lead guitar, lots of piano-like keyboard phrases; prominent drums and percussion and the added warm textures of sax - used only in one track, "Do It Alone," sounding muted and melancholy - and cello - used in a couple or so. The bright and mostly crisp playing - the occasionally shimmery guitar phrases - help keep this from making the listener maudlingly depressed. You'll want to listen again, not a put a gun to your head (or down a bottle of sleeping pills). What's interesting is how they can take these languid arrangements and suddenly take them in to frenzied realms, no less the last piece "She Prefers Her Dreams" where you do not expect the quartet to explode dramatically (like the sharp shock of a gun firing or something) -- eddies of keys and guitar and bass throb and swirling about at a dizzying pace ... controlled chaos.

Although the drums and percussion are a little stronger in the mix than PF, there's definitely a PF vibe. And not to dwell on this point, but the moods tend to stay in a "Fearless"/"Wish You Were Here" territory. You'll find no parpy keyboards here to speak of, as mostly piano-like tones are stuck to, which lends everything a touch of class, especially during the instrumental piece "Interlude." With the accented vocals, incidentally, I also think of Dice (esp. on "Where Are U?") "Where Everything Is Dark" a piece that shatters the pervading calm with grinding, distorted guitars and heavy percussion ... a deep-seated throb ... and throw in some soaring guitar leads as well. A bit of moody bass closes things out. It just prepares you for the aforementioned "She Prefers..."

"Face The Truth" begins in a manner not unlike Eric Carmen's "All By Myself" - vocals and quiet piano ... only this remains a mellow piano/vocal focused piece - a ballad. "Drops In The Ocean" has an epic feel ... beginning with tentative, spacey keys (in fact, you can almost imagine a velvet darkness and twinkling stars), adding vocals and strummed guitar... The tension builds in this track, leading to an explosion of sound, spearheaded by a soaring guitar, given weight by boomy bass, taut percussion, and nicely plunking piano (though plunking sounds too clunky a word). For a outro, we get a brief piano and acoustic guitar duet.

Powerful and assertive is how I would describe the middle and middle-ish portion of "Lost (I Miss You)," though there's something odd about singing lively and soaringly this lyric: "I feel as if I were Dead..." I mean... you'd think that it would be delievered rather gloomily.

There are enough interesting textures and melodies to satisfy the progressive rock listener, even if there is an air of familiarity that pervades. It's not too mellow to be called innocuous, and not energetic enough to be call obnoxious - rather it is just the right mix of calm and agigated to keep the album from stalling. This may not be the album that tops your year end lists, but it's one you'll hang onto because it is quite good.

Also released by Musea Records (FGBG 4582.AR)

Time Has Passed (5:24) / Do It Alone (4:05) / Where Everything Is Dark (6:27) / Face the Truth (5:31) / Drops in the Ocean (6:18) / Interlude (2:48) / Where Are You (4:50) / Somewhere Between Here & There (5:48) / Lost (4:31) / Disappeared (5:00) / She Prefers Her Dreams (9:25)

Jeremie Grima - guitars, vocals
Matthieu Jaubert - keyboards, vocals
Arnaud Rousset - drums
Anthony Leteve - bass

Guest Artists:

Katrin Waldteufel - cello
Yogi - saxophone

Dark Smiles... (Demos) (2003)
And Life Goes On... (2005)
Play Again (2006/2009)
Eleonore (2008)
And Live Goes On...In Poland (2009)
Ready To Go (2010)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin FR

Added: January 20th 2006
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 2768
Language: english


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