|Kyle Allbright||25-June-2009||The RPWL Experience|
Yogi Lang / vocals, keyboards
Karlheinz Wallner / guitar
Manni MŁller / drums
Christian Postl / bass
RPWL started out as a Pink Floyd cover band and it really shows on this album. I havenít heard their earlier albums, but apparently this album is a departure from those albums, which are considered even MORE Floydian by comparison.
Iím glad I didnít write this review too soon after becoming familiar with this album. The RPWL Experience did not capture my interest upon the first few listens, but after some time itís starting to grow on me. Iíve even started to think about it as a what-would-have-been Pink Floyd album, had they made some more studio albums after Division Bell.
Not all the music here is in the later Pink Floyd style, however. The first song on the album, Silenced, drifts into hypnotic space rock more in line with Ozric Tentacles than Pink Floyd. This segues into a melodic guitar solo that is both captivating and expressive, and reminds me a lot of David Gilmourís work. Unlike many progressive rock outfits, these guys will allow a riff to play itself out, and segue nicely into a solo or another riff without prematurely interrupting the foundation of the established sound. In other words, they are much more interested in writing well-crafted songs than showing off.
RPWL are definitely polished in the art of song craft, and they rarely go into experimental tangents to please fans of compositional complexity. As a result, their music comes off as genuine, even if a bit reliant upon the styling of Pink Floyd.
The guitar work, the composition of the songs, and especially the singers voice all remind me a lot of David Gilmourís work in Pink Floydís final two studio albums. Breathe In, Breathe Out, Where Can I Go, and Watch Myself are especially rooted in the melodic-pop style of later Pink Floyd. This Is Not A Prog Song, Stranger, and Choose What You Want To Look At are a little more aggressive, demonstrating that they are not afraid to rock out and move out of the Pink Floyd territory. River is a quiet and reflective piece, and Turn Back the Clock is a fitting closer to this album, with all the Floyd references intact. The guitar and mellotron work at the end of this song provides a captivating harmony, and is truly appreciated.
Engaging and relaxing, this album may be Ďtoo mainstreamí for fans requiring pure originality or uncompromising experimentalism. It will be grower for some and too boring for others.
Iíve been informed that their earlier releases are more neo-prog oriented, as well as Floydian. Since I havenít heard them, I look forward to checking them out soon. Apparently the established fans of this band prefer their earlier works, and it is my hope that later albums will demonstrate more versatility and a willingness to move beyond the shadow of Pink Floyd.
The RPWL Experience definitely invokes memories of Momentary Lapse of Reason and Division Bell. I canít stress this enough. If you are into this kind of music, then you may think of this album as a long lost Pink Floyd album; but if post-Roger Waters Pink Floyd is not your thing, then you will probably want to stay away from The RPWL Experience.
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