Perfectly Flawed is the first full-length release from the Warsaw based group Pinn Dropp, formed by guitarist and composer Piotr Sym in 2015. It includes reworkings of the 3 tracks from the 30 minute Re:Verse, Re:Treat, Re:Unite EP originally released in December 2017, Unresolved, Cyclomythia and Kingdom of Silence. Fortunately, the punning is left to the band's quirky name and the album title. The contents are earnestly serious featuring all the prog tropes; only one track under 5 minutes, the title track a 20-minute multi-part composition, and the usual array of time signatures. This is ambitious stuff for a debut album and will invite comparison to bands such as Dream Theatre (minus the shredding guitar) and IQ. Bassist, Pawel Wolinski, recruited since the issue of the original EP is a strong addition to the line up which is completed by multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Mateusz Jagiello and producer and drummer Dariusz Piwowarczyk.
The first three tracks are fine in themselves, and feature some fine musicianship, although it could be said that they are a little unremarkable in terms of originality. However on Cyclothymia, an exposition of mental disorder where bouts of depression are interspersed with periods of hypomania, we start to get a sense of what the band is capable of. Jagiello's carefully phrased vocals and changing time signatures underpin this journey to the 'Other side of me'. This perfectly leads into the two part piece, Fluorescent Dreamscape which itself frames the centrepiece of the album, the 5-part title track. Fluorescent Dreeamscape again picks up the theme of mental fragility, exploring the illusion of self. The title track itself is outstanding, a carefully constructed 5-part piece which showcases the talents of all members of the group in a restlessly shifting maelstrom of tones, sound and rhythm, led by a commanding vocal performance from Jagiello who manages to remain assured while still capturing the anxieties of the main theme. While I found the plodding finale a little disappointing by comparison to the earlier sections, I could also imagine it being a very moving experience in a live context. Similarly the second half of Fluorescent Dreamscape which closes the official release (an additional track, Human Corporate Machine is available as a download) which declares 'It's time to wake up' is the closest to a ballad providing a downbeat ending with dreamy keyboards paradoxically infusing a touch of magical atmospherics as the reality fades.
The bonus track Human Corporate Machine truly stands outside the rest of the work, its staccato punchy robotic tones and vocals capturing the automata it describes, but adds little to the lustre of the preceding tracks.
This is a worthy introductory release from a band with huge potential and who are clearly still growing and hopefully have plenty left in reserve. I shall certainly be following them with interest as they have the ability to carve a niche into the already strong pantheon of Polish rock bands.
**** Andrew Cottrell
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