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Review: The Parallax Method – The Squid

The wonderful thing about doing the radio show and running this site is the amazing welcome the Prog and Metal communities have given us since we started not so long ago. We have met so many amazing people and heard such exciting music both live and recorded that I often kick myself we didn’t do this sooner! Three of the many folk we have met along our journey go by the names of Danny Beardsley, Ben Edis and Dave Wright, and it is these three immensely talented musicians which together make up The Parallax Method, an experimental, instrumental… hell, just plain mental Prog Rock/Metal trio who have finally completed work on their second EP ‘The Squid’, the follow up to 2015’s ‘The Owl’.

There has been a massive re-surge in instrumental music over past decade or so which has been helped no end by the success of bands such as Animals as Leaders and Intervals on the Tech metal scene, and many of the bands we see emerging have been heavily influenced by that style and sound to the point there are many imitators who although very talented are yet to find their own sound to enable them to grow. Here The Parallax Method could not be more different instead opting for a mix of classic rock, metal, swing and jazz styles skillfully blended with a knowing wink and sly grin.

If you have seen the band live within the past year then you may know what to expect from ‘The Squid’ already since the band have opted to play it in its entirety since they started work on it…a wise choice which will make those who approach the EP instantly feel familiar with at least some of its myriad of writhing passages! There’s bound to have been one riff which stuck in your head long after the show ended, for me it was the tail end of ‘Donald Sutherland and his Magnificent Mane’!

‘The Squid’ starts with opener ‘Lets Get Kraken’…yes, these guys share a sense of humour with your dad! A slow jazzy, swing intro with slow noodling which seems to be seeking a riff which it finds towards the last few seconds and starts in full as ‘Donald Sutherland and his Magnificent Mane’ kicks in proper. The very first full track is an excellent example of the content expected as the EP progresses, songs are generally made of several sections which writhe around one another and change style with each repeat as differing effects and melodic structures are laid upon them, it is this style which leads to a complex sound which surprisingly still accessible to both the casual and more musically proficient listener.

‘You Gotta Be Squidding Me’ starts upbeat before moving into a laid back riff which sees each of the band flawlessly playing off and complimenting each others parts. There is always plenty of space within each segment allowing each instrument to weave around the others without any clash or confusion, no one overplays which is nice. Often you find with an instrumental band that the sound is led by a single instrument (often the lead guitar) and that other players are merely bit-parts to support the main act, The Parallax Method instead work as a single unit delivering the songs without any ego present.

Third full tune is ‘Owl Pachino vs Mega Mango’ which is a brighter piece with some gorgeous walks and runs from both guitar and bass held together by some amazing drum and percussion work which fluidly controls the ever writhing tempos and time signatures. As with the other tracks this is full to the brim with ideas and enthusiasm including the outro which reminds me of a 90’s video game soundtrack. By the end of the track I’m still unsure as to whether the Owl or the Mango was victorious but I will enjoy repeated listens until I figure that out!

Finally ‘I squid your farewell (Owl be seeing you)’ plods in with trademark quirky riffs which sees both Ben and Danny climbing and descending scales building to a passage of double bass before taking us even further down the rabbit hole. Its a continuous twist between light and heavy, even giving a nod to a comedic ‘spooky’ section which would not sound out of place in an old ‘Scooby Doo’ cartoon!

In summary ‘The Squid’ is everything I was hoping for in a follow up to ‘The Owl’, the musicianship is superb, the tunes are stupendously complex yet amazingly simple, the EP in full offers endless repeated listens, you will always notice a new passage or nauance that you hadn’t picked up on previously, its damn near perfection… Nice one guys!

FFO: Music!

Be sure to get your copy here…it costs less than a pint!

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