Innerspace is a new progressive rock band from Canada formed in 2010. The band consists of Phil Burton (vocals, guitars), Simon Arsenault (guitars), Paul Aubry (keyboards) and Thomas Sauvé (drums). They introduced their debut album The Village to the prog rock world in the summer of 2012. They instantly have been thrown in at the deep end with this concept album, but it impressed me right from the start.
Maybe the music on this CD isn't that original because throughout you can hear music that's particularly inspired by Pink Floyd. That didn't discourage me at all because music wise they have much to offer. However, Innerspace's interpretation of Pink Floyd's music is totally different if compared to other bands that regard Pink Floyd to be their major influence. The music on The Village is mostly tranquil and laid back. They have a dreamy approach to melodic rock which fits this band perfectly. Sometimes the music tends towards a band like Airbag, although the melodic Floydian guitar parts are the main ingredients of this Norwegian band. Phil Burton's rich vocal tones remind me a lot of the way Dave Gilmour sings and that even applies to the sometimes hoarse vocals. In addition Paul Aubry's spacial keyboard sounds remind me of the late Richard Wright. Even the mellow rhythmic parts resemble Pink Floyd. Sure, the guitar solos hold a certain link with Gilmour, but not as much as you should expect from a band that's strongly influenced by this great British band. However, the use of female backing vocalists and a saxophone player increase the similarity with Floyd's music. Anyway, the musicians of Innerspace are capable performers otherwise you can't record an album that sounds so professional and mature.
The Village could be a concept album containing all kinds of stories. Though it's not explicit enough to get a good idea of what it's all about without the help of the booklet. On the one hand there seems to be a theme dealing with the individual versus institutions, a theme against which Pink Floyd wouldn't likely have objected. On the other hand it could also be that they refer to the movie with the same name. In this film the population of a small, isolated countryside village believe that the alliance with mysterious creatures inhabiting the forests around them is coming to an end. But even by using several soundscapes like footsteps, closing doors and human voices − which provide the story of The Village an extra dimension - it's difficult to determine what the concept's all about.
To mention musical highlights isn't easy because most tracks are of an equally high level. Maybe Slippery Case, part I with a great synthesizer solo and the final track Land Of Reason with great bombastic keyboard parts slightly exceed the other ones. One thing's for sure! Innerspace recorded an outstanding debut album that will be loved by many Pink Floyd fans. The Village is a good starting point for their career. Hopefully they will develop a style of their own on their next release like so many other bands did that initially started by taking influences from their musical heroes. I'm sure this band is talented enough to record an original album that's hard to compare to other bands except for Innerspace!
**** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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