Abbfinoosty - Future

Year of Release: 1994
Label: Cyclops
Catalog Number: CYCL 005
Format: CD
Total Time: 49:30:00

Though this was released a few years ago, I only recently picked it up. The first thing that strikes me about Abbfinoosty's Future is how live this recording sounds - I imagine either a small club or small auditorium with a low-tech mixing board. The liner notes give the location as The House In The Woods, so who can say.

The interesting thing about the cover is that the future named on the album's cover is 1999; it's not immediately noticible, and certaintly isn't on the small sample above, but it appears in the center of the picture frame ... just above the album's title. So, the irony is that this album, released about five years ago, sounds like it was released thirty years ago.

Because there are different moods and feels to each of this disc's 12 tracks, I'll comment on most of them here.

With the initial track, there is a very 60's feel, 60's psychelic maybe ... harmonies especially in the chorus. And while Asif doesn't have the strongest vocals, I find after a few listenings that I like the song.

The sound shifts to an early Marillion-esque groove on the second, title track ... hovering at the fringes, really...but also like a lot of late 70's, early 80's progressive bands...none that I can actually name, but I'll venture to say those more influenced by Genesis than by Yes (or ELP, for that matter).

"Medusa" is a heavy rock number, booming drums and bass, thick slabs of sound ... think Deep Purple around and maybe just before their Machine Head days ... though this is hampered by the hollow production. Everything here, like the previous two tracks, is back in the mix.

"Drink With The Devil" is maybe the most progressive track here, starting out with a long, winding intro ... Asif's guitar lines searing, the drums and base providing a jazzy backbeat (I thought of Brubeck's "Take Five" and almost expected them to start playing it). The overall pace of this track, though, is plodding, and once past the intro, I'm not entirely thrilled with this song. Again, I have to come back to the production, as Asif's vocals are all but lost aside from these two lines that rise up out of the morass of dense sound - "And I drink with the Devil/and fuck all the virgins."

With better production, a bit snappier sound, this would sound very much like Arena.

Shifting gears once again, we get the quirky "Arabic Sales Market" - I thought first of a band called World Party, which I think had one hit, and then some of the weirder Monkee tunes, usually those by Mickey Dolenz. This is what happens when you let three drunk and stoned guys into a studio to improvise, though I have no idea whether the members of Abbfinoosty were at the time. But just imagine that kind of swirling, smoky haze as psychedelic colours create a kaleidescope of patterns inside your skull. It's all fitting of course, as there is a line that reads "as he takes another toke on his hookah pipe."

"Wild Ones" contains neo-prog's swirly keyboards and extended, swooping guitar lines - easily compared with Marillion and Marillion influenced bands.

It shouldn't be surprising to find that many of the lyrics here contain references to drugs, as I'm beginning to wonder if Abbfinoosty didn't fancy itself a psych band for the 90's.

If this were better produced this would have been a much stronger release, as Abbfinoosty seemed to have played their instruments well and have come up with some very listenable arrangements. And, if it had been better produced, I'd have no hestitation in recommending this, but because it wasn't, it makes it a frustrating listen. The last two tracks "Capture A Dream" and "The Wizard," however, have a better production; they were recorded at Maison Rouge and Power Plant respectively. The first of these is brighter, shinier than the rest of the album ... a bit cold, though; steely, sharp edged. Sam Brown (she who dueted with Fish on "Just Good Friends" I believe) makes a vocal appearance on this latter track, mostly to provide an angelic "Ah-ah-AH-ah."

The Owl (3:30) / Future (7:10) / Medusa (3:25) / Drink With The Devil (4:15) / Arabic Sales Market (3:00) / Wild Ones (7:00) / Wishsong (3:45) / Wake Up (3:30) / Mama Don't Send Me (1:55) / Capture A Dream (3:45) / Wizard (9:35)

Asif - guitar and vocals
Tony Norton - bass and vocals
Robert Lowe - drums and percussion

Future (1994)
The Storm (1996)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: August 1st 1999
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1860
Language: english


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