Neo-prog is a slippery slope for me as a listener. Many bands cite Genesis, Marillion and IQ as influencial but far too many of them churn out boring as fuck, watered down fluff that sound like anything you’d hear a dive bar. Somewhere along the line, musicians who love prog have assumed making neo-prog is easy and anyone can do it. TCP is fortunately not one of those bands!
TCP (Temporal Chaos Project) is made up of four highly skilled musicians who actually PUSH their sound to be more than basic neo-prog and truly harkens back to 70s prog. This is more than what many other similar bands are doing. The thing that will stand out to you first is the voice of keyboardist Henry Tarnecky, who sounds to me like Peter Hammill run through a Fish filter. He has a VERY distinct voice which MIGHT be off putting to some. I think it’s one of the main reasons that TCP is interesting and rather eclectic.
Unfortunately for me, rather than let their unique vocalist sing everything, they have Nicole Tarnecky sing on a few of the tracks. She’s got a good voice but for me, Henry has such a different style and tone that it’s hard to shift to a voice that’s COMPLETELY different. It winds up being distracting for me rather than complementary.
Musically, these guys can play and special kudos to Jack Wright who handles guitars AND drums. He is great at both. I’ve always said a band is only as good as their drummer, the engine that drives them, and Wright’s a damn good drummer. The album starts with the quirky “Torn Apart 1000 Sparks” which sounds like Happy the Man to me. That works for me since I love Happy the Man.
Songs tend to be more dramatic than the opener like “Forest of Lovelies” and “Impetus” which both remind me more of older Genesis. “Chrysalis” is one of the tracks with the odd vocal paring and while they can sing together, it’s really like oil and water. I do like that track regardless. A good song is a good song and this album has the songs. The closing epic “In the Flame” has a Van der Graaf Generator edge mixed with a Genesis melodic sensiblity. It’s a great closing number.
TCP clearly make music because they love music. This isn’t about being famous or showing off how great they are at playing. “Temporal Chaos” isn’t a perfect album but it’s a very solid album musically with some great performances by each member of TCP. If you’re tired of prog rock becoming stale, TCP is well worth checking out.
1. Torn Apart 1000 Sparks
2. Forest Of Lovelies
4. The Forces
6. Fantasize/Into The Blue
7. Third Eye Limited
8. In The Flame
Agreed with your analysis of this album for sure. I love a lot of the Neo-Prog movement myself but find that a lot of the bands that claim or label themselves as “Neo-Prog” are really just rock bands and they’ve added an extra instrument in it here or there like a sax or flute; The two additional instruments of classic Prog favour lol. But they are not really Prog at all. Nor does having 10min epics constitute you as a Prog band either sometimes, that said it does help the Prog recipe flow a little better but not completely necessary. This band does push themselves to encompass the Prog elements quite well although I did find his voice bordering on a wee bit of Peter Gabriel wannabe at times but that’s just how he sounds. Again agree with you regarding the vocal shift where having someone else sing a track or two can throw the album off greatly because it shifts the parameters of the album’s flow. TCP is one of those bands that does tend to fly under the radar of conventionalism cookie cutter North America where if it’s anything over 3:50 and not made with a computer program or a synthesizer then forget about knowing who they are because the MTV/Much Music generation are very much in-line with the average radio listener who doesn’t choose to extend their range of bands outside the Top40 gobshite. If that’s what you like then so be it and more power to you but realize this…. there are more bands out there then you can possibly ever know and hear in your lifetime but you should at least make an effort to stretch yourself just outside your comforting sandbox and pick up an album or two by this band and/or a band similar to them and hear a group of people who are making music for the sake of joy, making music and not being a part of the corpratocracy machine that clogs and plagues the television and radio waves that feeds your head daily. Great album, ’nuff said!
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You could have written this review for me! 🙂 Thank you sir!
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Most welcome Sir ! Your review was great and was spot on! Sometimes I get a roll on and don’t realize that I’ve leaped upon my Proggy Soapbox and press my thumb down the the music scene here in North America! lol You should hear what I’m doing up in Canada! It’s very much the ambient/Krautrock/Kosmische type music and when I play gigs nobody knows what I am doing! They’re so wrapped up in the commercial clap trap of the day that everyone so far outside of family and friends have NO idea what Krautrock is ! So for bands like TCP….. I get it and I, like them and many others make music for the sake of enjoyment and not caring that it’s not what gets you noticed but you are still heard outside of your rehearsal space! lol Cheers!
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