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Monday, September 30, 2013

Garden - Somewhere Else

Since forming around two years ago in their hometown in Scotland, Garden has this unique sound combining the touches of Prog, Metal, Classical, and Folk music that are rolled up into one. And at times it’s almost like a film score, which is beautiful and touching and you can imagine the rivers rippling down by the Oceanside and walking through the waters and finding where home is and knowing the direction on finding out who you really are.

That said, their second EP, Somewhere Else, is a spiritual journey that will take the listener through various movements in the four genres and just takes you by surprise that is unexpected. The band considers Lauren Bain on Flute, Samuel Bradley on Lead Vocals, Bass Guitar, and Tuba, Dan Grover on Piano/Vocals, Chris Grieve on Cello, Patrick Jamieson on Guitar/Vocals, Matilda Nordqvist on Violin, and Cameron Kuronen-Stewart on Saxophone and Clarinet.

Opener, Overture for the Divided, is an excellent introduction to start the EP off with a bang. It begins with a mourning turned militant rocking before it goes into a fast-driven mode before going into the Weather Report meets King Crimson meets Symphony X roar as Samuel just goes into those melodic boundaries while each of the instruments just goes into different time phrases as they go into deeper and cavernous territories.

Then you have lukewarm emotional ballads like Leaving Home, which has this wonderful reminiscent to the Acid Folk turned Alternative Rock orientations, but with an orchestral boundary as Chris Grieve, Lauren Bain, and Matilda Nordqvist makes you feel right at home as they a classical yet lukewarm crisp while In a Garden, which the lyrics deal with how time passes by and remembering your first true love, is back into the symphonic and little bit of the Canterbury ‘70s sound , is a supernatural vibe.

Waiting for Fireworks, which works well as Samuel writes it as a mini rock opera with a Celtic Folk turned Prog Metal story-telling, about a person learning the errors of his/her ways by wishing to go back and change everything, but after the blasting and explosions have cleared off, the person may stay and find out who they are or go out to fix the problem and go out in a blaze of glory. And the music itself that goes through that along with a bit of Jazz fusion thrown in there, goes into an amazing waltz-like finale as Bradley pays homage to Jaco Pastorius on his bass guitar as the vicious roaring metallic climax ends in a high note.

The closer, The View, it has these wonderful harmonizing vocals that is done in an canon style. At first it begins with homage to Egg’s The Civil Surface-era (Wind Quartets I & II), but then all of a sudden it goes epic and uplifting turned into a dramatic finale thanks to the classical instruments that is a knockout. Somewhere Else is a genuine EP of a band who are still getting started on the yellow brick road of the Progressive genre and even though Garden's got a long way to go, they will make it no matter what happens.


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