Providence - And I'll Recite an Old Myth From... 1990 Japan
CD reissues: 1990 Crime; 1994 Nexus; 2013 Crime (mini-LP)
For years, I used to joke that Providence were the Night Ranger* of Japanese prog. It was always meant to be a lighthearted stab, an innocuous crack aimed at the good-natured prog fan (if such a creature really exists). Of course, humor works best when there's a hint of truth in it... I mean it's not like Night Ranger went on long instrumental flights of fancy. Nor did they employ a mellotron (fake as it may be) as a key sound device. But you know, there are times when they remind me of....
There are four components that will catch your ear when listening to Providence's debut. One is the powerful female vocals of Yõko Kubota, who defiantly sings in Japanese in the same manner as any number of these girls on the TV vocal contest shows would. Second is the bass playing of Yasuyuki Hirose, who puts in a monster performance. And he obtained that perfect woody bass sound like Chris Squire would do in his prime. Third is the synthesizers, sounding every bit of an early to mid 80s power AOR band (...it's the final countdown....). And finally is the superb production. Hard to imagine a small private label album from Japan besting many of the major studios and labels of the time. Oh, and Christian Beya of the old 70s French band Atoll joins on guitar, and he's rockin' out! Overall, there are long stretches of high energy progressive rock here to enjoy. But be prepared for some MTV styled power pop too. Maybe Yõko looks cute in leather pants?
* I just noticed Night Ranger are still around! Now that's the ultimate example that begs the question: What's the point? One would presume they're not trying to preserve their artistic legacy. rofl.
I bought this on LP not long after it was released in 1990 and still own that copy. It comes in a very nice poster cover, with a booklet. High production all the way, as mentioned in the review proper. This is one of the rare LPs from Japan that wasn't released with an obi, as it appears it was made for export (despite the lyrics being sung in Japanese). Ironically it's also one of the few Japanese albums that was never reissued outside of Japan. Strange. I never felt compelled to own this on CD, but just within the last month, I did secure one on the cheap (1994 Nexus). That was the impetus for this listen. Interesting to note that the CD reissue (with different cover - 3rd scan) misspells the title "...On Old Myth From"