Poor Genetic Material - Spring Tidings

Year of Release: 2006
Label: Quixote
Catalog Number: QXT CD 35
Format: CD
Total Time: 50:37:00

With the sledgehammer-over-the-head approach the immensely popular prog-metal scene has blessed us with in the past decade, we're seeing the effects filter out into mellower genres like Neo-Prog. Energy, loudness and distortion seem to be ubiquitous, moment to moment in every song, with no sign of letting up.

Poor Genetic Material plays its musical cards the other way. Where other bands unleash protocol-fueled instrumental breaks with freakish fury, this German band would prefer to let the instrumental sections of their songs mellow out even more than the melodic, cool style they exemplify. The results are something that sounds magically like the 70s: subtlety before volume, atmosphere, not turbulence, and restraint not assault. Simply put, it's beautiful.

Phil Griffiths, like his dad, has is blessed with one of the best pipes in prog and the vocals on this album milk every melodic nuance of his capabilities. While it may be too operatic for those who prefer growls, grunts or 80s arena rock wailing, it works because the music has the intelligence and song craftsmanship to blend "class" into the musical equation.

Augmented by a perfect rhythm section and the excellent new drummer, Dominik Steinbacher, the sound weaves between the introspective lead guitar of Stefan Glomb and the flowing keyboard work of Philipp Jaehne. Where most bands would take very safe and obvious roads, Poor Genetic Material flows, yet with little predictability. Changes seep in from out of nowhere. Not one song sounds similar. And though the album rocks at times, most of it is pretty laid back and gentle.

That said, Spring Tidings is not a perfect album. Some songs work better than others. But when they do work, it is simply exquisite. The song, "Watercolours" is the best thing I've heard in nearly a decade. The opening echoes the glory days of Beggars Opera and the like. And there is not a bad track on the album.

Poor Genetic Material, like the UK's Mostly Autumn, is redefining Classic Rock in a modern era. And with enough adventurousness to warrant the prog-rock label, Spring Tidings is a satisfying listen to prog lovers who want to take a break from the metal or neo scene with some clean, accessible music that isn't afraid to be beautiful.

Three Steps Back... (2:23) / Blow Up (4:04) / April (6:56) / Watercolours (9:31) / Tidings (6:26) / La Ville Qui N' Existait Pas (10:30) / Lotus-Eaters (6:57) / ...Or Right Ahead (3:50)

Phil Griffiths - vocals
Stefan Glomb - guitars
Philipp Jaehne - keyboards
Dennis Sturm - bass
Dominik Steinbacher - 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 UK

Added: April 23rd 2006
Reviewer: Richard Zywotkiewicz

Artist website: www.poorgeneticmaterial.de
Hits: 1350
Language: english


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