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Kino - Picture

Kino - PictureWell here we have yet another 'supergroup' which seems to be a recurrent trend in the rock/prog world in this day and age. But Kino have delivered the goods in a what can only be described as a perfect chemistry in a musical term. Featuring John Mitchell (Arena, The Urbane) John Beck (It Bites) Pete Trewavas (Marillion, Transatlantic) and Chris Maitland (ex Porcupine Tree, sessions) these four musicians have produced a well recorded album with some interesting songs and a unique style.

Clocking in at a shade under fifty-five minutes (special edition will be available too) the ten songs are crisp in presentation, and put together well. Losers Day Parade kicks the album off, and from the opening riffs and vocals, Nivarna springs to mind straight away. Then just past the two minute mark, comes the Once Around The World twenties style piano with the stylus static crackle, and along with the Beatles style Abbey Road, which reminds me of the Mr Blue Sky chorus from ELO! The harmonies stand out, and combined with John Beck's keys, this is a strong track, and it sets the scene for the remainder of the album.

Letting Go follows, and is a ballad type offering, similar to an It Bites feel, and the strings from the orchestra sounds combined with the harmonies from the two Johns and Pete, send this into overdrive. Next track Telling Me To Tell You has the start which is similar to The Police, and is more on the mainstream line, could be a single in many ways. Again the harmonies stand out, and the chorus has you humming along too, and there is a slight Rush tint in the guitar and keyboard sounds. John Beck takes over the singing duties on the next track Swimming In Women, and it could have been on any It Bites album. His piano along with the string sounds flow with ease and again is along the Beatles path, but yet again the chorus stands out. People is next and is quite heavy in attack with the strong riffs, and is along the Urbane track. There is a hint of early Genesis on the riff and keyboard sounds too. Going back to the keys, well they stand out here with many sounds, and JM's vocals are I feel at their best on this number. The harmonies too are worth a mention, which lead into the album's strongest track in my opinion.

All You See is that very track, and after a sneak preview at Whitchurch 2003 (see review) I felt we were going to be in for a good album back then. This is strong in vocals and performance, again the harmonies control the whole thing, plus JB's piano just smoothes the whole thing over. Slow in pace, but as I said before, the albums finest track!

Perfect Tense is very mainstream, and could be the first single from the album. It is eighties sounding but has again the chorus and harmonies which stand out. Room For Two has the Rabin style Yes sound, with a up-tempo style combined with the guitar and keyboard solos. Holding On has the acoustic guitar flowing through it which reminds you of the It Bites/present day Marillion sound. Again this is a ballad type track, but has the right ingredients with the It Bites/early Genesis riffs towards the ending. Chris' drums on this track, are his best performance on the whole album, but in general his performance is faultless.

Last track is the title track Picture, and is slow with JM's vocal and JB's perfect piano playing. This is the shortest track on the album, but there again, a perfect way to close it.

This should sell many copies with the personnel on board, and will appeal to the fans of the band involved. But as a newcomer, it should be a welcomed album for the car or in the lounge. They deserve credit in song structure and performance, a important release, and a good one.

Danny Mayo

Kino


 

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