Pure Reason Revolution - The Dark Third,
Can it really be 15 years since Pure Reason Revolution released this their debut album? Inside Out have now reissued it as a digipak and on double vinyl, but it should be remembered that they reissued it with all the bonus tracks back in 2011 on the fifth anniversary, while it was also released as a double record at the same time, although apparently this is the first vinyl appearance of the track “Golden Clothes”. Whether that is enough for you to fork out again if you have an earlier version of this album then that is up to you, but if you have yet to come across this release then now is a good time to look back at it. Released originally through Sony/BMG, the band had been going for some three years when this album came out (the title always made me think I had somehow missed two others), and they made quite an impression on all who heard it.
The reason for that is that they take Floyd as a starting point, sometimes staying close and at others moving far away into areas that are veering on melodic rock as opposed to progressive. The vocals are incredibly important, with five of the band being singers, and while the harmonies are impressive and the leads of Jon Courtney which carry a lot of the weight, it is the vocals of bassist Chloe Alper which assist in lifting this to the next level as she there are times when she breaks away from the harmonies to provide something far more dynamic and cutting. The keyboard sounds being used are often dated, with some lovely old organ sounds, and they toy with psychedelia as they build their heavily layered sound, yet also bring in guitars which make the listener think of Porcupine Tree and Muse. This is a modern progressive album in so many ways, and even though it is an old friend it has dated well and does not sound at all out of place in the current environment. Their debut is still arguably their finest release, and if you have yet to discover the joys of Pure Reason Revolution then this is the place to start.