Jack Bolingbroke, hailing from Adelaide, South Australia, has teamed up with bassist Morris Ewings and drummer Rory Amoy as The Slow Light. They offer instrumental progressive rock with a psychedelic twist, and have released the five-track EP Cinema of the Mind.
Bolingbroke wrote, arranged, recorded and mixed the EP himself while also playing guitars and keyboards. He aimed for an “immersive sonic soundscape with lots of twists and turns in every corner of the stereo field.” He’s hit his mark; there are ear treats throughout the disc, including some field recordings and natural reverbs that are unique to this project. Listeners, be sure to use equipment that images well to achieve full appreciation. Skip the AirPods in lieu of your studio-quality Beats, or blast it out on your old-school speaker stacks.
Prog-rock fans will like Cinema of the Mind. For me, it combines the best elements of say, Joe Satriani and Dream Theater. The songs have Satriani’s musicality and melody, while adding Dream Theater’s keyboard soundscapes, theme development and meter changes. The Slow Light leaves off most of the guitar-hero fireworks and the gratuitous “because I can” time signatures, which I greatly appreciate. Think of the EP like you would a trip to Tijuana: there’s enough grit there to satisfy aficionados of the genre, but not so much that you can’t take Mom for a visit.
All five of the tracks are well-constructed, and sound great. “Fractal Perception”, a short intro cut, gets us started with keyboards and some nice stereo effects. “Dream Sequence” starts with guitar picking over keyboards, then adds bass and drums while smoothly shifting meter. A liner note says, “the record lends itself conceptually to the mind's best effort to justify and perceive various struggles and experiences,” and this track is a good example of that. There’s a lot going on (sonically, melodically, rhythmically)--try to piece it together in your mind, as it ends with a ticking clock.
The third track is aptly titled “Circumvolution” and is one of my favorites. The dictionary defines “circumvolution” as a “a winding movement, especially of one thing around another,” and indeed themes wrap around each other here beautifully.
“Clocks Relapse” is the top pick on Cinema of the Mind. The synths start the theme and hold it down throughout. The theme has enough tone-center ambiguity as to allow many harmonic variations, and the band explores these throughout the track.
I quite enjoyed Cinema of the Mind. Fans of prog-rock--and prog-rock tourists--will find it well worth their time to listen.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook