The Perotic Theatre - Dryve. 1996 Germany

* 1. Space Cowboy 6:17
2. Dust Ark 3:26
* 3. St. Art 4:14
* 4. Citiest Poison 3:04
5. Tissues 3:58
6. Dust Ark 2:39 (different composer)
** 7. Stone Pillow Poem 7:56
* 8. Nocturn Eyed 4:33
** 9. Dwarf Jam 3:14
** 10. Furrows 5:15

Well, as I'm hearing this for the third time, I wouldn't necessarily call this a "retro prog" album, something that became more in vogue a decade later from when this was released. What makes this album so interesting is the juxtaposition of 90s modern rock song craft with Hammond organ as the lead instrument. The thick edgy analog instrument gives the songs far more life than any thin sounding digital synthesizer would have, and completely changes the mood and texture of the entire album. 1), 5) & 8) are probably the best representations of Dryve, showing off their Porcupine Tree meets Pink Floyd composition style, with early 70s Uriah Heep and Aardvark instrumentation. 2) is, for me, easily the weakest piece on the album, and shows that The Perotic Theatre could have been a wimpy emo bunch - primarily via the breathy androgynous vocal style. Though the Hammond manages to save it from a total disaster. 3) puts us back on track with a jumpy ELP Tarkus era styled organ track, with vocals in a more desirable airy style than the previous one. 4) is one dirty, smelly heap of early 70's organ rock. Now this track could have easily come out in 1971 England via the Neon label - or 2008 from a band like Diagonal. Excellent. 6) is a moodier version of 2), and fits the atmosphere of the album better. 7) is the first time we get a hint of the heritage of the band, and this piece of unhinged experimentalism would clearly fit into the glorious world of 1971 era Krautrock, as envisioned by the Ohr and Pilz labels. Echoed narrated vocals, droning / power chord organ shards, and pounding drums. Nosferatu meets Motherf*cker & Co era Xhol Caravan. I could listen to this stuff all day. Brilliant! 9) features a cool choppy organ vamp, on which the band pretty much jams on top with wordless male vocals adding atmosphere. Really super stuff here. 10) is the clear winner from a melody standpoint. Wow - this is the kind track that could have been a hit in 1972. While the whole album is very good, the last half of Dryve is stellar. Highly recommended!

FWIW, their debut Prometheused (1995) is completely different, and I was extremely disappointed. This is a band you must tread carefully with.

Personal collection
CD: 1996 private

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