Australia CD – Giant Electric Pea.64 mins
A top score 100/100 album
Following the breakup of the Australian band ‘Utopia’, keyboardist Sean Timms armed with a huge backlog of musical ideas set out to form a new band. A band that would bring together a collection of hand-picked top–notch musicians. A band that would seamlessly meld together as a strong collective, initially to improve, expand and refine the music Sean had in his portfolio but later to jointly bring together their collective ideas. The idea from the onset was to record and take to the road with their music to international audiences of progressive rock persuasion.
Their self-titled release in 2016 seemed a clear departure from ‘Utopia’s Anthropocene stance, why are we destroying the environment standpoint?
‘Civilisation’ followed in 2018 and proved to be a classic progressive rock album filled to the brim with great instrumental interplay and great hooks.
With their new album, ’Another World’ The first characteristic that strikes you is the sweet multi-part harmonic vocal arrangements that are incorporated throughout the mix. In fact, the entire structure of the music is such that it truly flows so beautifully between the various sections credited to each track. Indeed it is a true master class of multi-phasing with each instrumental section created in the form of a mini symphony. Masterpieces that majestically abound with bursts of gorgeous lead guitar, violin, keyboard, and saxophone taking turns to come to the fore and all the while supporting the incursion of the vocal flow. Also neatly tucked into the overall score, electronic protuberances are to be found contributing to the overall compositional flow. Strangely, despite the complexity of the music, the deft time changes and directional variations there is a distinctly AOL feel to the overall spread of the music. However, this album has literally taken progressive music to another level. The melding together of such a complexity of many different musical styles.
Summary: This incredible album is a true Smörgåsbord of progressive rock jazz, metal and classical styles with stand-out vocal harmonies. A plethora of delightful instrumental prowess, tight well-arranged sequences of much variety, and undeniable diversity.
Southern Empire are Shaun Holton – Lead and Backing Vocals Cam Blokland – Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Lead and Backing Vocals. Jez Martin – Fretted and Fretless Bass Brody Green – Drums, Hand Percussion, Ridiculously High Backing Vocals…again! Sean Timms – Keyboards, Programming, Lap Steel Guitar, Backing Vocals. With: Danny Lopresto – Backing Vocals, Guitar Steve Unruh – Violin and Flute Adam Page – Tenor Saxophone Marek Arnold – Soprano Saxophone Lisa Wetton – Percussion, narration on ‘When You Return’ Amanda Timms – Flute