Parallel Or 90 Degrees - More Exotic Ways To Die

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Cyclops
Catalog Number: CYCL 114
Format: CD
Total Time: 47:53:00

With the name Parallel Or 90 Degrees, a certain British band has taken upon itself the defiant mission of making it practically impossible for the listener to elucidate what kind of music the quintet employs for its purposes. Yet when one gets the words "progressive rock" attached to the entity that, for simplicity, is just called Po90, images of mellotrons, slumbering psychedelia, Tolkien fare, and the like are definitely what it's all about...or perhaps a singer who wishes every day he were Scottish and if not a herring, at least cetaceous, right? Wrong. Dead wrong.

And since jeopardy does not seem to be a particular strength in this case, one must succinctly explain the nature behind the Andy Tillison Diskdrive-led unit: it is progressive rock indeed, but it's progressive rock for the twenty-first century. Which means a Halfling would lose all the hair on its fat and conformist body in panic after listening to the first couple of minutes of More Exotic Ways To Die and the crushing force with which "Impaled On Railing" jumps from its modern pseudo-psychedelia into a visceral metallic stomp with seething attitude. And the band refuses to let up from there on, hurling thick chunks of heavy distortion at one point, replacing the crush for moody post-alternative depression at another, and veering off into electronic explorations as a bonus curveball that's not quite there just for show.

Indeed, the scope of Po90 is so refreshingly comprehensive regarding the face of daring and modern popular music that wraiths and rings are immediately cast off and replaced by a mob of post-my-life-sucks-and-I-wanna-die-because-I'm-so-alternatively-happening youths, many of them disenchanted with life and drunk in a sea of meth and street smartness, the others ethereally passing through somewhat edgy nightlife and its accompanying hazards and rewards. That is, More Exotic Ways To Die is the kind of record that could pass off camouflaged in more hip circles than those of progressive rock, provided a couple of track lengths went by unheeded, yet would still appeal to a considerable segment of the prog community. Ying and yang in real-life entelechy.

And Po90 is certainly not undeserving of this chameleon defense mechanism, as the mere fact that "The Dream" goes as far as to recall the bleak industrial landscapes of Godflesh attests. With progressive rock breaching its own borders by means of artists who revel in wrecking all barriers and exploring the outermost limits of music and by others taking hold of the current musical trends as is appropriate, this British five-piece sets itself firmly on the latter camp and uses its latest album as a way of joining the emerging elite. And while More Exotic Ways To Die is not exactly a perfect study in strategy, it does set the band well on its way of becoming much more than just a rank soldier.

Similar artists: late Porcupine Tree, Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails

More Exotic Ways To Die: Impaled On Railing (4:44) / A Man Of Thin Air (5:06) / Embalmed In Acid (5:42) / The Heavy Metal Guillotine Approach (5:27) / Drum One (3:14) / The One That Sounds Like Tangerine Dream (1:31) / A Body In Free Drift (8:29) / The Dream (2:38) / Petroleum Addicts (11:02)

Andy Tillison Diskdrive - vocals, organ, synthesizers
Sam Baine - piano, synthesizers
Dan Watts - guitars, samples
Alex King - drums
Ken Senior - bass

The Corner Of My Room
The Time Capsule
No More Travelling Chess
Unbranded - Music From The EEC Surplus
More Exotic Ways To Die (2002)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: July 16th 2002
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website:
Hits: 490
Language: english


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