John Mitchell (Frost*, Kino, It Bites) has returned with the latest (third, I believe) from his brainchild Lonely Robot. Mitchell is also the producer at Outhouse Studios, Reading, UK. Under Stars is not bad – it’s not, in my humble opinion, as good as some of his other projects. This is more serviceable prog – something that an introductory progger could maybe listen to. Once they’ve graduated from this, of course, they can move on to the hairy stuff. The first time I heard Frost*, for example, it almost scared the crap out of me! Not so with Lonely Robot. Their stuff is more earthbound, if yo will.
Introductory blurb Terminal Earth is quickly followed by Ancient Ascendants. This is journeyman prog, kind of mellow in spots. Icarus features more of the same. So far I’m seeing a bit of a disturbing pattern here. Perhaps continued listening is warranted.
When we come to the title track, we get a bit of a reprieve from…whatever. There is some excellent lead guitar work on this tune. This one never really seems to take off either. Authorship of Our Lives is a bit heavier, and features a gorgeous piano intro. The Signal returns us to our disturbing pattern of sleeper stuff. The Only Time I Don’t Belong is Now wins the award for longest song title. When Gravity Fails is a bit heavier again.
How Bright is the Sun? is the longest track of the day. Inside This Machine and An Ending are much shorter numbers. What you need to ask yourself, readers, is whether or not I need to add this one to my collection..? Am I just an intermediate progger, or am I a hard-core completist? If you are the latter, then perhaps you should go out and get yourself a copy of Under Stars. If not, then stay home and crank up something else!
1. Terminal Earth
2. Ancient Ascendants
4. Under Stars
5. Authorship of Our Lives
6. The Signal
7. The Only Time I Don't Belong Is Now
8. When Gravity Fails
9. How Bright Is the Sun?
10. Inside This Machine
11. An Ending
Playing Time: 49 minutes and 57 seconds