31 May 2019 (released)
06 June 2019
Broken Parachute describe themselves as a cross between Deep Purple and Yes with a fair wedge of Porcupine Tree thrown in for good measure.
I’d say that all three of those influences are present but the combination, rather being a catastrophic collision of styles, is bloody good listening and the more that you let it invade your senses it shows just where the strengths of Marcus Taylor (guitars, bass, percussion) and Ben Bell (keyboards & vocals) and ex of Fusion Orchestra 2 and Gandalf’s Fist, lie.
There is obviously a great love here for the classic era of Progressive Rock, before it became Prog, and the elements of Blues and classical as well as rock and jazz tend to allow the band to take the music where it needs to go rather than following a strict path.
The album opens with a short passage, ‘Surprises’, led by Ben Bell’s vocal backed up by a ‘choir’ of vocals and feels as though they are finding their footing to launch into ‘Lines’ as it kicks off with James Chapman’s drums, treated guitar and then to a Hammond riff before taking the crescendo down to gently plucked acoustic guitar and Bell’s vocal – almost a symphony in a single track.
After that, each number has distinct musical elements with a great sense of percussion and rhythm to move the songs through their different phases.
The guitar work from Taylor is excellent and his bass whether from a conventional bass or keyboard bass pedals is complex and really carries the space underneath. Ben Bell’s keyboards are a real feature of the music rather than being a fill-in as much music has them and his Hammond and Mellotron works especially brought a huge smile to my ears. Chapman’s drumming is, at turns, jazzy and rocky with a really delicate touch on occasion.
The music reminds me so much of the sense of adventure in the early Yes album as well as the classical influences of Gentle Giant which there is a very modern feel in the vocals especially.
Every track has a sense of individuality but there is a DNA that flows through everything here and this is definitely one of my favourite Progressive albums of this year.