MobIUS – Make The Promise

Posted 150721

Review Erik Neuteboom

Tim Newcombe (keyboards, piano and organ) founded the group mobiUS in the lockdown of 2021 and composed and recorded the tracks in remote collaboration with the other band members Alistair McCaig (bass and production), Andy Clifton (drums) and Andy Hughes (guitar and vocals), their musical backgrounds are very varied. The classically trained Tim played blues, joined a Celtic rock band and loves Old School prog like King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Genesis and Camel. Alistair started to play Motown, funk and soul but switched to British Heavy Rock (Black Sabbath, Motorhead and Led Zeppelin) and later played covers in London. Andy Clifton was inspired by the great drummer and bandleader Eric Delaney, and started playing drums after seeing him in 1982. As a 12 year old boy he was already doing gigs, the following years Andy turned into a very experienced drummer by playing in different bands, with different styles. He loves to listen to prog, like Yes, and It Bites. Andy Hughes plays since he was 15, influenced by bands like Black Sabbath, The Who, Rush, Manic Street Preachers and Pink Floyd. He is now 27 years old, a multi instrumentalist, songwriter and producer, and has toured all across the UK playing shows with bands paying tribute to the likes of The Who and AC/DC.      

1. Odyssey (19:07) : This epic composition starts with tender piano intro and soaring strings, then sensitive guitar work joins, followed by wonderful interplay between guitar and piano. Gradually the music turns into more lush an dynamic. Then an accellaration featuring fiery guitar in a swinging rhythm, and  a sparkling jazzy piano solo, backed by an awesome rhythm-section. Now the music turns into dreamy with soaring strings and spacey synthesizer flights and tender piano (evoking the second part in Layla by Eric Clapton). Halfway soft synthesizer runs join, followed by moving play on the guitar, very intense. After a bit  experimental part with sounds the music shifts to a sumptuous atmosphere with propulsive guitar riffs and a long, spectacular synthesizer solo, stronly reminding me of Rick Wright (Wish You Were Here era), wow! In the final part a harder-edged guitar solo, topped with a powerful rhythm-section. The short conclusion delivers tender Grand piano.

2. Rain Another Day (17:59) : Another epic composition it also features a tender Grand piano intro, then a romantic, a bit high pitched voice joins, soon blended with mellow saxophone. Next an accelaration with a catchy beat and a fine guitar solo, followed by a part with inspired vocals, blended with fiery guitar in a swinging rhythm. Halfway back to a dreamy atmosphere with tender piano, in the end blended with romantic vocals. Now the music turns into a dynamic mid-tempo featuring a harder-edged guitar solo. The final part delivers a slow rhythm with bombastic keyboards, howling guitar runs and mellow Grand piano work, beautiful.

3. So They Tell Me (10:20) : Spoken words are blended with fiery guitar, tight drum beats, in a slow rhythm, the music sounds as a blend of rock, blues and soul. Halfway a synthesizer solo, finally powerfuol vocals, and rock guitar, slowly fading away.

4. Spider (05:25) : First spacey synthesizers and soaring strings, then a slow rhythm with tight drum beats, rock guitar, and slightly theatrical vocals. Halfway a blistering guitar solo, powerful drums, then a swirling Hammond organ solo, and in the end again those slightly theatrical, very inspired vocals.

Four alternating compositions, with lots of strong musical ideas, and a huge variety in styles. If you are up to this eclectic approach and the slightly theatrical vocals (more close to Vanilla Fudge than the Old School prog) this is an interesting album to discover.