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Articles Home » 2013 Articles » Great Eastern - 2013 Abris [ep]
Great Eastern - 2013 Abris [ep]

ARTIST: Great Eastern
ALBUM: Abris [ep]
LABEL: Web Art Records
YEAR: 2013
SPONSOR: Web Art Records


LINEUP: Kostas Tsiakalos - vocals * Kostas Christopoulos - guitars * Kostas Givissis - keyboards * Tasos Karamichalis - bass * Paul Theodorakis - drums * Stella Tempreli - cello * Maria Athanasiadou - violin

TRACK LISTING: 01 Exhausted * 02 Late Evening * 03 Abris * 04 Almost Gone * 05 Not Here



Signed to John Jeff Touch's Webart Records come Greek art-rockers Great Eastern. Where I live (Australia), there are references to Great Eastern right across the dusty red landscape, particularly roads. Not so in the case of this 'difficult to pigeon hole' outfit who cross musical divides without worrying about where they are going to land next. 'Abris' is their first release, and should impress with its early 70's styled folk/prog meets 80's art-rock. Their bio refers to REM and Radiohead and Bob Dylan among others, but as a melodic rocker and part-time prog-head, I can probably hear a few things that they can't, not that it would make any sense to them.. lol! Beauty is in the ear of the beholder it would seem. Cascading piano and acoustic guitar are prevalent, so too the cello. But this is 2013, and Great Eastern don't forget the electric elements when it matters.

The Songs
There are four tracks on the EP, plus there's an additional track 'Not Here' which has been bundled on other web-pages associated with the band. I'm not sure if there's a specific track-listing, but I'll go with the one that's in front of me. 'Exhausted' is a breathy affair, with Kosta Tsiakalos vocalising in muted tones. It has an organic quality too, the production sounding as if it's been recorded in the front-room which kinda adds to its charm. 'Late Evening' initially operates behind the veil of a piano. It has orchestral written all over it, with piano and cello taking up center-stage, while vocals meander like a gentle stream. Ensuring that the rock component isn't completely lost, a guitar solo which stirs memories of early Steve Howe is added. The title track 'Abris' is a real throw-back to retro prog. We could possibly call it proto-prog but I'm sure Kostas, Kostas and Kostas might give me a funny look! But most definitely, this should appeal to the prog-meisters among you. The keyboard solos and mellow acoustic guitars are so engaging, this could very well be 1973! Just to ensure we are in 2013 and not 1973, 'Almost Gone' brings us up to the modern day with contemporary drum patterns and synth runs. There's some sweet orchestral parts as well, which is something that works real well with Great Eastern. I've bolted on 'Not Here' as well, a mostly acoustic jangle which doesn't climb to great heights, Tsiakalos' vocal sounding a bit shaky in the aftermath.

In Summary
Great Eastern are an interesting if somewhat genre-challenged outfit that probably need to decide where they want to set up camp. They could go off in any number of directions, and leave existing fans somewhat dazed and confused trying to keep up after them. Personally, I think they could live quite happily in that retro-prog camp, if the title track 'Abris' was anything to go by. That was quite a magical listening experience between me, you and the gatepost! If anything, Tsiakalos vocals need a bit more work to stand up to the rigours of a full time career as a singer, but by the sounds of it, the bare-bones are in place, and the world is literally their oyster.

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#1 | Eric on November 19 2013 17:31:31
Cool find G.
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