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RPWL - 2008 The RPWL Experience



ARTIST: RPWL
ALBUM: The RPWL Experience
LABEL: SPV/Inside Out Music
SERIAL: SPV 79722 CD
YEAR: 2008

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Yogi Lang - vocals, keyboards * Karlheinz Wallner - guitars * Christian Postl - bass * Manni Muller - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Silenced * 02 Breathe In, Breathe Out * 03 Where Can I Go? * 04 Masters Of War * 05 This Is Not A Prog Song * 06 Watch Myself * 07 Stranger * 08 River * 09 Choose What You Want To Look At * 10 Turn Back The Clock

RATING:

WEBLINKS: www.rpwl.de


Background
RPWL are a new name to me, though they have been around for a decade or more. From Germany, these guys have laid a foundation which includes building blocks sourced from the foundry of Pink Floyd and Genesis. I wasn't quite sure what to make of this CD when it landed courtesy of SPV Records, but trepidation went out the window as soon as I slapped this on. This is quite simply beautiful modern prog which sits at the lightweight end of the genre. Starting life as a Pink Floyd cover band, RPWL (named incidentally after the original members surnames initials) soon graduated to original material, and since those early days, have released a brace of albums. They even included Ray Wilson previously from Genesis to sing lead vocals on some of their tracks. After taking a few years off since 2005's 'World Through My Eyes', RPWL return with their latest 2008 offering.


The Songs
I really enjoyed the Genesis like opening of 'Silenced'. If you've heard their 1997 album 'Calling All Stations' with Ray Wilson singing, this might give you an idea as to what RPWL are all about. 'Breathe In, Breathe Out' flows on an even musical keel. The simplicity of the song based on a mainly acoustic backbone with keys to provide the colour - works real well in my books! Third track in 'Where Can I Go?' has a nice summery vibe with a Beatles overtone within. The song is quite long at 7 plus minutes, and does change face, especially the voice over dialogue toward the end. 'Masters Of War' has been given a grilling on other reviews that I've read, but I like it a lot - the obvious Pink Floyd references gives it a familiar feeling without being a copy-cat. The cleverly titled 'This Is Not A Prog Song' brings RPWL into the modern day context, integrating contemporary rock influences - which is ironic really because most of today's popular acts are genetic throwbacks to the late 60's and early 70's. Go figure! The same could be said for the dreamy soundscape of 'Watch Myself' which shimmers with past decade reverence and reverb. 'Stranger' is perhaps the closest track to a heavier style of prog, the likes of which Spocks Beard and Dream Theater are a closer fit, where mellotrons and guitars undulate on a rocky road. 'River' is a folky sort of ballad which touches on the work done by Swedish prog act Xinema, but without the lush keyboards. Instead it's gentle acoustic guitars that provide the backwash. One of the oddball moments here is 'Choose What You Want To Look At' - a rough edge near industrial workout with a modern rap element added to it. Not one of my favourites admittedly, but the difference is a credit to the band. The closing track 'Turn Back The Clock' has a huge mid 70's Genesis feel to it. It's pretty obvious listening to it where the lush melodies emanate from. Nice way to finish the album.


In Summary
Where Frontline are often compared to Journey, and as Tiles are considered to be Rushclones, the same must be said for RPWL in terms of their musical relationship to Pink Floyd. However, in saying that, the legacy is retained without resorting to blatant copy-catting. RPWL continue to create carefully crafted bodies of work, and have a point of difference to others in the prog genre, and with this new album, perhaps some new supporters will come onboard and enjoy the experience. For myself, I am returning to their back-catalogue for a further listen.


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