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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Seventh Wave - Things To Come [Esoteric Records - 2018]

1974’s Things To Come was the first album from this British two-piece prog-rock project. And it offered up a decidedly uneven blend of bounding, melodic & symphonic 70’s prog pop-rock, and instrumental tracks  with a more experimental & moody leaning. On Cherry Reds prog sub-label Esoteric Records here  we have a recent CD reissue of the album.

Seventh Wave where formed in the mid 70’s by  Ken Elliot (keyboards, vocals) and Kieran O'Connor (percussion)- the pair originally met in progressive/ psychedelic group Second Hand, who released one of the classic slices of strange and unpredictable prog with their second  & sadly finally album for the project 1971’s Death May Be Your Santa Claus( also reissued on Esoteric) . After the break-up of Second Hand, the pair went onto release an album of more jam based prog under the banner of Chillum. So Seventh Wave was their third project together. I was a huge, huge fan of Death May Be Your Santa Claus- so when I saw Esoteric where reissue both this and their second album Psi-Fi I had to dive in

For the fourteen track album, the pair played everything with  Ken Elliott on  Piano, Electric Piano, Clavinet, Synthesizer [Arp, Moog, Ems], Mellotron, Glockenspiel, Chimes,  & Vocals.  And Kieran O'Connor on Drums [Ludwig, Asba, Orchestral Bass Drum], Congas, Bongos, Bells [Sleigh], Cymbal [Finger, Crash], Castanets [Castinets], Handclaps, Claves, Xylophone, Vibraphone.  So as an album it’s certainly both virtuoso & varied in its sound pallet.

Sadly beyond the pairs musical prowess & a few interesting ideas, Things to Come often comes across uneven, muddled, and unstructured album. Bringing together grand ELP like symphonic prog pop-rock tunes featuring some fairly pointed US pop rock elements, with more random & quirky instrumental tracks- which often lack both coherency & worthy structure. All giving the album a feeling of been a collection of different sessions, or compositions in embryonic stages.

Sure you can say as an album Things To Come is both unpredictable & daring in its structure- the issues is it just feels like a collection of tracks or a compilation, instead of a coherent album, which of course is one of the things you can usually rely on with Prog.

As you’d expect with Cherry Red linked label you get a decent job done with the reissue- with the disc coming in a clear jewel case. Ths features a glossy 16-page inlay booklet – which features a new four-page write-up about the band & album, as well as full credits & lyrics. And you also get a single  bonus track in the shape of a single cut of an album track

I really wanted to like Things To Come, after having so much time for Second Hand’s 2nd album- but I just found it too uneven in its blend of sketchy moody-ness/ experimentation, and in your face pop-prog dramatics.

Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5

Roger Batty
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