Moteur! – En traits libres

The Music

The Words

Moteur! is a French avant-prog band who released its debut self-titled album almost exactly a year ago. En traits libres is their most recent output, and it makes some changes on the basic formula. First of all, the band is now totally instrumental, and I can’t say I miss the vocals of their first opus; moving them out was a wise move. Secondly, the then-trio welcomes Yacine Rabia on bass guitar and becomes a full-fledged quartet! That adds a layer of sound, something that wasn’t really lacking, but that is nonetheless appreciated.

The band favours completely … Read more

Alex’s Hand – Katatak

Russia-based R.A.I.G. (Russian Association of Independent Genres) label seldom disappoints. The latest hit from under their wings is from German avant-garde progressive rock band Alex’s Hand, and their fourth studio album, Katatak – stylized KaTaTaK. Contrary to tradition, the songs don’t follow an overarching theme or concept, but the three main chunks – “Waterfalls”, “Epic”, and “Ghost Peppers” – each tell a story through convoluted long-form structures, atypical riffs and rhythmic patterns, and a generally rather aggressive take on progressive rock and jazz rock. Katatak is unsurprisingly very colourful, despite the overall bleakness of the concepts and songs; … Read more

Squintaloo – Über Bord!

Squintaloo is a German experimental progressive rock quartet, and they released their latest album, Über Bord!, in June 2017. Their style is eclectic and modern, drawing many comparisons to even some more out-there math rock and prog rock outfits. While very rooted into harmonic cohesion with a rather simplistic melodic approach, most of the eccentricity comes from the structures, the odd rhythms, and the layers of effects that affect the guitar sounds. That is not to say that those two aspects are not well done or that playing them doesn’t require a high degree of musicianship from the players’ … Read more