Poor Genetic Material - Leap Into Fall

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Quixote Music
Catalog Number: QXT CD 17
Format: CD
Total Time: 47:48:00

In theory, Poor Genetic Material is the more experimental, progressive side of the band Alias Eye who released the AOR/Proggish Field Of Names. Though only the vocalist and drummer from Alias Eye are a part of the project/band, vocalist Philip Griffiths' distinctive voice and delivery seems to personify the Alias Eye radio friendly sound. And yes there is a commercial sound found here yet Poor Genetic Material is definitely experimental and progressive.

The melodies are built on unexpected chord patterns, variations and reasonably complex structures. The use of keys is full and rich, garnishing a strong symphonic tone. The keyboard stays clear of current electronica trends yet has elements of that movement nonetheless. The use of guitar is subtle, yet effective in the way Steve Hackett's contributions to Genesis once were.

The German based band consists of Philip Griffiths (son of Beggars Opera vocalist Martin Griffiths) on vocals; Stefan Glomb on guitars; Philipp Jaehne on keyboards; Dennis Sturm doing bass; and Ludwig Benedek pounding the drums.

The CD begins with the lengthy, sweeping "Rush Of Ages", which at nearly 17 minutes shows that the band means to be progressive. This is a strong track which covers a lot of symphonic ground. Its captivating vocal delivery borrows a lot more from Beggars Opera than Alias Eye did. Track 2 "Thin Red Line" incorporates marimba samples with Pink Floydish keys in a form of cross-fertilisation that is as clever as it is understated. The song builds on a very hooky chorus that is more in an Alias Eye AOR vein. "Star Of Eden" takes the material into Gentle Giant territory with its avant-garde vocal melody. This is followed by another more traditional rock ballad, the title track "Leap Into Fall". If a style/influence can be mentioned it would be of Wind & Wuthering era Genesis with melodic flowing melodies.

The progressive elements of the band re-surface with the excellent 9 1/2 minute "Antares". Spacey keys and samples are used effectively throughout and the song explores and utilises constant changes in tempo, melody and rhythm very well. Key man Jaehne is not afraid to let things go ambient and stay that way. Traces of Porcupine Tree flitter their way throughout the song.

The short and sweet "Fall" ends things off. Phillips vocals are carried by a mellotron and a simple piano melody. This song draws tears to my eyes and remind me how beautiful it was to listen to the instrumental portions of Beggars Opera's Waters Of Change from which I think it gets its inspiration. There's even mention of Tides Turning in the lyrics. A beautiful and powerful, yet understated ending to a very nice album.

It's not clear from the Website whether Poor Genetic Material will be an occasional project or an on-going entity like the collaborations found in groups like Transatlantic. From the quality of the work, one that bridges accessibility with experimentation so beautifully, one hopes there will be more to come.

Rush Of Ages: a) The Lady Stands - b) Beneath The Rubble - c) Obscured By Stars - d) The Lady Speaks - e) You (16:32) / Thin Red Line (6:25) / Star Of Eden (8:03) / Leap Into Fall (5:06) / Antares (9:32) / Fall (2:10)

Philip Griffiths - vocals
Stefan Glomb - guitars
Philipp Jaehne - keyboards
Dennis Sturm - bass
Ludwig Benedek - drums

Free To Random Vol. 1 (1999)
Free To Random Vol. 2 (2000)
Summerland (2001)
Leap Into Fall (2002)
Winter's Edge (2003)
Spring Tidings (2006)
Paradise Out Of Time (2007)
Island Noise (2011)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin DE

Added: July 16th 2002
Reviewer: RIPZ

Artist website: www.poorgeneticmaterial.com
Hits: 564
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]