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Tin Scribble - Children Of Saturn

Tin Scribble - Children Of SaturnI was itching to listen to this album as, in a sense, as a Capricorn I am a 'child of Saturn' and secondly because I found the cover photograph intriguing (for 'intriguing' read 'a little scary').

Michael Allen More (guitar, vocals, keyboards) wrote all but one of the tracks and was in the band House Of Usher with Tin Scribble bass player Mark Jardine.  Also in the band is Bryan Atterberry (guitar, Celtic harp, synth) and Clinton Sabon (drums) with guest musician Colleen Cameron (piano, flute, voice, backing vocals).

To get the best out of this album, listen to it on a decent hi fi or headphones.  I say this because I also played it on my laptop, which is not that good for sound anyway, but the difference was huge.

Children Of Saturn is progressive but a more appropriate term would be art rock - there may be elements of, say, Genesis and King Crimson, but with greater subtlety in the progressive sense.  Opening with the dulcet tones of George W Bush, news about 9/11 over a half-hearted keyboard 'finger exercise' gives off a weird aura of something ballooning out of control but the first track proper, Entervallum, with its ethereal Theremin sound really sets those goose pimples off. (The Latin 'vallum' is a Roman fortification but my ancient languages has always been a little rusty.) 

Vox Populi Vox Dei, an old expression meaning 'the voice of the people is the voice of God', opens with another snippet from a political speech (this time about same sex marriage).  The track introduces Michael's vocals, which I didn't take to initially, but there again I thought that P. Gabriel's voice was the problem with Genesis when I first heard that band thirty-odd years ago and I soon changed my mind about that.  Michaels voice may sound strange but it does fit in well with the album.  Forgive me for comparing Tin Scribble to a little known British band called Grace but they too were not afraid to go it alone and side-step conformity occasionally and their live performances were legendary.

Children Of Saturn has a dark edge, which imparts the feeling that all is not well.  Bleak has an element of The Beatles' Norwegian Wood, more raw and heavier maintaining that 'age of Aquarius' hippiness in a Mickey taking way.  Like a chameleon, the colours change with Intervallum touching on Genesis at their most disturbed (Lamb period) before quickly moving onto Breakable which has some hallmarks of 1970 Floyd and slight menace metamorphing into something heavier and more akin to Porcupine Tree.

The styles may change track by track but the atmosphere is maintained. Listen to the instrumentals carefully and you will discover that the tunes are, in the main, fairly simplistic yet the arrangements give the overall effect of something a lot 'fuller' than perhaps it actually is when broken into it's respective parts.  Very clever.

Children Of Saturn is not the easiest of albums to get into but after a few plays it begins to have the lure of something you know is not right (chocolate, alcohol etc.) but is hard to resist.  About 12 listens on I am still intrigued.

Jem Jedrzejewski

Tin Scribble

 

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