RPWL - Stock

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Tempus Fugit
Catalog Number: TF V? 10
Format: CD
Total Time: 43:45:00

After years of struggle as Violet District, things have gone extremely fast as RPWL since the band's debut album God Has Failed was released in 2000. Our German friends have never denied their huge adoration for Pink Floyd, an atmosphere which not only shines through in their own work but finds it's way in their use of cover material as well. Just think of their great rendition of "Cymbaline" on the hard to get Tour 2002 album. Don't forget these guys started out as a Pink Floyd cover band way back in '97, which probably explains the huge promotion given by German progzine Eclipsed. As it happens, in its own right Eclipsed started out as a Pink Floyd fanzine that developed into a respected nationwide music monthly. Eclipsed not only wrote about RPWL but they also gave raving reviews of the band's output and put them on stage on several occasions. Whilst God Has Failed still sounds as if a better quality could be achieved, it was with last year's Trying To Kiss The Sun that the band obtained international praise. They continued working hard, which not only landed them with a better distribution deal through Inside Out but now also delivers a brand new studio album called Stock.

Again Pink Floyd is written all over this album, yet instead of blatantly reproducing Floyd's heritage they create a world of their own with brand new and original compositions. Authentic Floyd fans who have been waiting for new studio material from their alltime heroes can invest their money into buying RPWL material as they certainly won't be dissapointed. Bearing in mind that all of RPWL's output has been recorded with only a fraction of what it must cost to put the "real" Floyd in the studio for just one day, the new album simply is a stunning result. In keeping with tradition, there still is a hint of the "real" Floyd to be found as the album opens with the Syd Barrett cover "Opel" like you've never heard it before. If only Syd could listen to this little gem whilst staring at the ceiling, lying on his back on his orange and blue floorboards. The psychedelic organ really takes you on a magic carpet right into the psychedelic sixties again. Wonderful! Putting in the right mix between acoustic guitar and amplified material "The Way It Is" combines the feel of authentic Floyd with a dash of latterday Genesis floating on a very catchy melody. Close your eyes and you would think David Gilmour has finally come around recording a new song (whilst also losing some weight in doing so!).

Throughout the album you will find several short pieces which kind of break up the album where atmosphere is concerned yet acts as glue in keeping the entire album very much together. Another big advantage of RPWL is the fact that lead singer Yogi Lang is also the keyboard player and producer so he knows exactly how his voice should sound as opposed to the other instruments. So expect a dazzling mix masterminded by the Gilmour soundalike all over this divine CD. Marvel at the Richard Barbieri like keyboards during the epic "Gentle Art Of Swimming." This is also an outstanding track to illustrate Yogi's knowledge where studio technique is concerned. The song evolves towards a percussive segment and we all know how difficult it is to record good drums! "Who Do You Think You Are" starts with the typical "Strawberry Fields Forever" mellotron whilst vocal harmonies take the song into Andy Partridge and XTC territory, backed by some tasty bass. "Sun In The Sky" is the kind of ongoing crescendo which is so typical of Wall-era Floyd dominated by freakin' backing vocals. For my taste, the organ could have sounded wilder, more dominant, whilst the female backing vocals should have been done by a soulful black girl singing her lungs out.

The album ends with parts 2 and 3 of the song "Forgive Me" of which a short instrumental "Part 1" can be found earlier on the album. "Part 2" is a rather ambient sounding whole, once again giving space to clear bass sounds. The closing "Part 3" probably is the closest RPWL sounds like Floyd and when Karlheinz Wallner hits that guitar of his, it's as if Snowy White is making a guest appearance. The backing vocals blend well, but again I would have wanted to hear more "freaky" vocals, but then again maybe that would have been too much Pink Floyd for just one night? Whilst the timing on my disc says 3:07, the track on my CD-player actually clocks in at 7:47. As is often the case nowadays, the actual song indeed stops at the given time on the inlay, but some time later there's an extra two minutes of material. Let's say it's the RPWL Monty Python section as it kind of offers a reprise of the last song but in bossa nova style. To be honest it doesn't fit on this disc at all and even as a joke I don't feel it has the right to be on the same disc.

When all of you run as fast as you can to the shops you will be delighted to find that this album is available not as a single disc, as is my review copy, but as a double disc containing both the "regular" version plus an extra DVD. The DVD contains a tour video plus also the entire Stock album in a stunning 5.1 surround music-mix. Ladies and gentlemen, you won't like what I have to say here, but I have to say it anyway: "Pink Floyd is dead, long live RPWL!"

Also released by Inside Out (SPV 087-65512 CD DVD)

Opel (5:27) / The Way It Is (5:47) / Perceptual Response (1:21) / Forgive Me ? Part 1 (1:39) / Gentle Art Of Swimming (10:17) / Who Do You Think You Are (3:36) / Going Outside (0:24) / Sun In The Sky (4:23) / Forgive Me ? Part 2 (3:01) / Forgive Me ? Part 3 (3:07)

(Bonus DVD has same tracklisting, plus tour video)

Yogi Lang - vocals, keyboards
Karlheinz Wallner ? guitars
Phil Paul Rissettio ? drums
Andreas Wernthaler ? keyboards
Stephan Ebner ? bass

God Has Failed (2000)
Trying To Kiss The Sun (2002)
Stock (2003)
World Through My Eyes (2005)
Live - Start The Fire (2005)
The RPWL Experience (2008)
The RPWL Live Experience (2009)
Gentle Art Of Music (2010)
Beyond Man And Time (2012)
A Show Beyond Man And Time (2013)
Wanted (2014)
RPWL Plays Pink Floyd (2015)
RPWL Plays Pink Floyd - The Man And The Journey (2016)
A New Dawn (2017)

The RPWL Live Experience (DVD) (2009)
A New Dawn (2017)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin DE

Added: February 23rd 2003
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website: www.rpwl.net
Hits: 1739
Language: english


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