Set Your Clocks to “Unhurried”
Milky Way Gas Station, hailing from the Netherlands, consists of Rob IJpelaan, vocals; guitar Niels Hoppe, guitar; Harald Veenker, drums; Jeroen Vriend, bass.
Several other musicians were guests on this album, their debut.
I could swear I hear keyboards, but darned if I know who plays them.
According to the band website biographies, three of the four members played in KRAMER, a band with which I am not familiar.
When I say “unhurried”,
this refers not only to the pace and timing of the album, but also to the process of rehearsing and recording this album. Apparently the tunes emerged and re-emerged over a five year period.
Pink Floyd references are unmistakeable
Especially track 4, “37, Pt. 2” brought “Dark Side of the Moon” to mind, with the absurdly powerful female vocals in the mix.
Yet practically throughout, with the powerful sustained keyboard and guitar chords, fretless bass guitar making appearances, slide guitar tones, use of acoustic guitar passages, and so on, Pink Floyd could be heard.
Certainly there were differences
For instance, the vocalist had his own timbre, clear, somehow plaintive, expressive. Guitar tones were varied, from clean or slightly treated, to singing distortion, to sweep picking. One or both guitarists have great technique, tone, and taste.
The band says, and I agree: It’s about the songs.
These range from 3 minutes and change long, to north of 26 minutes for the epic closing track. Each is unhurried, taking time to develop, simmer, and wind down. There is passion, but it is restrained passion. I suspect lyrics to the songs were important but didn’t have access to these in time to write this review.
If I had one suggestion
Hone these down a bit! It could be most listeners won’t mind seventy minutes of material and the unhurried pace- but I certainly noticed it.
Oh, and another thing
Let those ladies sing some more! Wow!
Overall, I liked this album a lot. There were lots of textures, variations, singing synth solos, and stellar guitar work. Drums and bass were terrific and in synch.
I’m saying 3.75, AWFULLY close to 4 out of 5 stellar fill-ups.