When a band is named after a bleak Philip. K. Dick novel changes are that they will paint a dysptopian world - the don't trust anybody kind. Progressive pop/rock quartet The Cosmic Puppets are not that dark, but there is plenty of stuff that they can worry about on their Beauty In The Strangest album.
Founded in 2004, when the band members were all graduates of the Perth Music College in Scotland, they kept in touch after they moved to different parts of the country. It wasn't easy to get together to work on their music. All in all it took them nine years to finish the album. What kept them going was a shared love for melodic progressive music. Singer and keyboardist Tony Halsall wrote all the lyrics, but all music is a collaborative effort. They can rock (The Whole-Half Truth), channel Lamb-era Genesis (Inside She's Dying), and even indulge in funky mainstream pop (The Reject).
After such a lengthy and cumbersome recording process one would expect an uneven batch of material. But Beauty In The Strangest is a unity - it's hard to believe that the tracks were recorded in six different studios. Getting an overall similar range of dynamics and ensuring consistent acoustics must have been a nightmare. Engineer Alexander Stewart can't be praised enough for his mastering skills. Recommended if you like Pendragon and early Marillion.
The Cosmic Puppets:
Tony Halsall: vocals, keyboards
Alexander Stewart: rhythm guitar, bass, electric and acoustic guitars, electric sitar
Liam Blair: electric and acoustic guitars
David MacLeod: drums, percussion
- Beauty in the Strangest of Places
- Need to Grieve
- Inside She's Dying
- The Reject
- Vulnerable (But Strong)
- The Whole-Half Truth
- Used to Believe
- Pretty Gifts