When you think about Mobius, you don't think about a progressive rock band. No way. You rather think about Mobius M. Mobius, a character in the Marvel Comics. Or Mobius, also known as the Anti-Monitor, a supervillain in the DC Comics. Or what about Mobius, or Dr. Ignato Mobius, a character in the Command & Conquer series. Of course this review is not about also those imaginary characters but about the British progressive rock band with the same name. However it is written this way: mobiUS. The band released their debut Make The Promise in 2022. And what a fantastic debut they made!
The line-up of musicians who were responsible for the fact that I enjoyed this album so much are band leader Tim Newcombe (keyboards, piano), Andy Hughes (guitar, vocals), Andy Clifton (drums, percussion) and Alistair McCaig (bass). Furthermore they got some help from Louise Newcombe (backing vocals, saxophone), Monika Welch (backing vocals) and Sandra Morris (backing vocals).
The album kicks off in a splendid way with the long instrumental piece Odyssey. The song leaves the listener with the sense that they have indeed embraced a quest. Set out from the comforts of home, flirted with danger, crossed oceans, lived and loved and returned home sated. It starts rather mellow and gets into a higher gear after several minutes. The bands first musical venture is the perfect vehicle for Newcombe and Hughes to shine on their synthesizers and electric guitars. Several excellent solos can be enjoyed throughout the entire track. But it has to be said that the bands great rhythm section lays down a perfect rhythm basis on which the other two band members can do whatever they want. Odyssey is a track that shows that the band can write strong instrumental pieces.
It is followed by Rain Another Day. The song is about the loss of Tim's mother, it reflects her influence on his life as a kind of safe haven. It is another rather long piece of music on which you can hear for the first time the great voice of Andy Hughes and the fantastic playing on the saxophone by Louise Newcombe. Also here the two instrumentalists get a lot of room to show what they are capable of on their keyboards and electric guitar. The song starts as a rather mellow ballad before the pace gets a bit faster and returns to more mellow parts.
So They Tell Me is next. This track tries to grasp and encapsulate the experiences of real sufferers of multiple personalities. It doesn't try to judge or sensationalise. It just observes and reports on 'what is'. It is a composition that starts with a spoken text and has some fine blues and jazz influences. The middle part is on the other hand rather spacious and spherical. Again you can enjoy the strong voice of Hughes who also treats the listener to some fine guitar parts.
Spider ends the album in a fantastic way. It is about that challenges should be embraced as the inspiration climbs to achievement, rather than a blocker to aspiration. This final piece on the album is much more straightforward compared to the other three tracks. However still worth listening because it includes for example a nice Hammond organ solo and the great vocal parts of Hughes.
The band can be very proud of their first musical effort. A musical effort which is rather difficult to pigeon hole. I just can't name any bands which you can refer them to. So I won't do that at all. Do they have a sound of their own? Yes and no! I guess you have to find out yourself. Therefore I advise every proghead to check out this fantastic new prog outfit yourself on their Bandcamp website. They get my approval that's for sure. Hopefully they will come up with more fantastic albums in the near future. Because Make The Promise is, as I already mentioned earlier, a fantastic debut!
**** Henri Strik (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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