So what does ‘Brain’ sound like? The 5 pieces, clocking in at 10 minutes or so each (mere snippets in the band’s history of extended compositions), are guitar heavy, funky and intricate. There’s no jamming here (for that you need to listen to the band’s alternate ego, which I’ll link to at the bottom of this review), just a continuation of the most tightly composed music I’ve heard since National Health, delivered alternately in joyful or tortured fashion. Yet beyond that it’s so difficult to pin the band’s sound down: in an attempt to try and describe it I’ve played it to various people in the rash hope of pigeonholing the music – but when the responses vary from Sonic Youth to Gentle Giant, the Ruts to Rush, you know you’ve got a job on… – Phil Howitt, Facelift
Stylistically, Brain manages to straddle an exciting path decorated with signposts to bands such as, National Health, Gong, and King Crimson. The path is also subtly coloured, by a wide plethora of other influences. These include for good measure, rock, reggae, space rock, bossa nova, dub, ska, math rock, psychedelia and hints of various forms of dance music. Owen Davies, Dprp.net
“Wrong Meeting, possesses the enviable ability to take the listener on a journey to extraordinary places. The whole album is imbued with a vigorous intensity and has an astonishingly spontaneous feel, where sparkling ensemble playing dominates, and the players’ enthusiasm for their art shines through. There is much about the album that has a seductive and charming appeal.
In Wrong Meeting, Lapis Lazuli manages to weld a succession of seemingly disparate styles into each of the album’s three pieces. The album wears a kaleidoscopic outer-garment that has the texture of jazz, the durability of rock, the warmth of psychedelia and the quirky eccentricity associated with Canterbury-based bands of the past. Underneath and strategically-placed hangs a pair of baggy trousers, to coyly and humorously expose the rhythmic influence of ska.” Owen Davies, DPRP
“Part jazz fusion, part space and spacious rock, with a healthy spoonful or three of their home county’s extraordinary musical heritage, Lapis Lazuli are an English Sun Ra Arkestra for modern times.
With just three long tracks, Wrong Meeting turns out to have been held in the right place, as each tune is given time to slowly reveal the deep blue jewels at their heart, with the musicians extemporising on languid themes on a journey into a mystical place. The deft fusion of opener School is followed by the world influence of Phighype, and then the skewed rock of Reich.” Roger Trenwith, The Progressive Aspect
“Lapis Lazuli have successfully harnessed these various influences in a totally agreeable and unique way. Alien/Abra Cadaver is inventive and charming and also challenging and exciting. This bands efforts deserve to be heard. I have been totally bewitched by this album and at the time of compiling this review, it is undoubtedly my favourite release of the year. I therefore unreservedly recommend it to readers who enjoy truly progressive music.” Owen Davies, DPRP
“Swirling, jazz-fusion styled keyboards, fiery rock guitar lines, snaking sax & trumpet, and intricate rhythms make up the formula, and throughout the epic “Alien” all the instruments weave around each other, offering up complex arrangements yet highly melodic at the same time. Think Zappa’s The Grand Wazoo period meets National Health or mid-’70s Soft Machine and you have an idea of the cool stuff this band is doing here.” – Pete Pardo, Sea Of Tranquility
“But this? This is something different. It’s crazy. It’s energetic. It’s diverse. And it’s plain fantastic….Everyone, repeat EVERYONE is loving this. If they tell you they aren’t, they’re lying. And you’d love it to. Trust me.” – Stephen Morris, Rock Kent
“These lengthy compositions go beyond the standard of standard rock verse-chorus based song structures, moving from mature Jazz inspired moments to heavier faster paced and exhilarating stretches that prove this band is undeniably capable of stretching its capacity to be more than just one sound…They play together so tightly and yet so naturally, through such a complex digression of songs” – Kelly O’Neil, Rhythm Circus
“A mighty sound — compelling, engaging and (just what I like) complex without being soulless. ” – Matthew Watkins, The Spring
“a revelation of sonic colour and texture, full of rasping saxaphones, achingly cool, meandering bass lines and drum patterns of mystery-wrapped-riddle- in-enigma complexity….swarming with busy, gleefully cacophonous sounds, simultaneously weird and wonderful ” – Stephem Morris, Rock Kent (Album Review)
“We’re dealing with a band here who understand music, understand their instruments and understand what they’re doing.” – Dave Nicholls, Loud Stuff
‘Every part is pulled off with a flourish…a thousand and one musical ideas spread over the two albums” – The Jitty
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