Reviewed by Valerio on 23 Nov 2010
FRENCH TV is back with the sound we are used to. They are FRENCH TV. This is their sound, yet with this release probably (hopefully) we can set aside their lable as a RIO band and introduce them to classic prog. They mutated going into symphonic sound taking inspiration in the all-time prog gods and GENESIS in primis.
Definetively this is a prog-rock album a la "oldie-classic" way. I m not saying it's romantic or mellow at all,nor that it sounds like GENESIS, it's just more pleasant if you let me say so; it's more PROG!! Compositions are always tight and complex so it's not the kind of album you put on to have a nice evening with your wife... but you can easilly enjoy this music while driving for example because it's straight, direct and the kind of music you want to listen to while driving - not something not so weird to make you crash nor something so mellow to let you fall asleep and again: crash! The entire album is fluent and typical progressive with bass, drums working on dynamics and sax, guitars and keyboards underlining the patterns,textures giving you the feeling you lost (or probably i did focusing my tastes on avant stuff only ).
The minds behind FRENCH TV are Mike Sary. His always recognizable his bass playing, ruff and frenetic ( i ve seen him live couple of times and yes: he has really big fingers!!) giving listeners a groovy mood and impulse to move; Jeff Gard on drums, this time Warren Dale, Chris Smith and Paolo "SKE" Botta worked on couple of tracks only, on the other side they are supported by Steve Katsikas and Shawn Persinger during the 80% of the album.
Word must be said bout the cover... I can't imagine that David Lynch could have done better - a concentrated lady ( looking probably at a regatta or a POLO game in my humble opinion) lays on the front while inside you find Mr. Jeff Gard's face (looking like he has a stomach ache), surrounded by band members ... maybe he had eaten them or thinking about this. Is it a David Lynch hallucination!! Last page of the booklet is another hallucination description of Mike Sary private life but I'l give you just an anticipation to make you curious and buy the album to read the story : "You can keep your 32nd-note Ionian scale Mike Sary! You are probably gay anyway!"( and after this.silence). In the back inlay lays a graphic about Federal R&D Budget which make you just think about how your money is spent or goes, well better buy good albums like this than pay taxes!!
Conclusion: true prog listeners must get this! Last words quoted from the album booklet : " There is a grim dimension, beyond that which is known to most men. It's a dimension as small as dust and as timeless as a sequined bell-bottom. It's the middle ground between artifice and talent, between Doctor Who and Tolkien. I'm Mac Beaulieu, and YOU HAVE JUST ENTERED THE PROGROCK ZONE.