Something fans will enjoy
Formed at the University of Westminster in 2003, British prog-rockers Pure Reason Revolution rose to prominence creating epic, sprawling tracks reminiscent of bands like Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree. Originally comprised of brothers Jon (vocals, guitar) and Andrew Courtney (drums), Chloe Alper (vocals, bass), Greg Jong (guitars, vocals) and Jim Dobson (keyboards), the group turned heads by combining ‘60s influenced psychedelia with ambient synths. Jong and Andrew Courtney were replaced by Jamie Willcox and Paul Glover in 2005 and 2006 respectively, right around the time they released their first full-length album. They released two more with the new lineup before splitting in 2011. Nine years after, they reunited at headline a prog festival in the Netherlands, though Jon Courtney and Alper were the only two members to return. A year later, the duo has put out a new record, Eupnea.
In a nutshell, Pure Reason Revolution can be described as a more eccentric version of Muse, and that locked them out of mainstream ears. That being said, the band’s talent is undeniable, and Eupnea is no exception. Though there are only six tracks, two of them are more than 10 minutes long, so there’s still just as much music as any traditional LP.
The album opens with the rumbling “New Obsession,” which combines thundering drums and fuzzy guitars, and immediately shows off Courtney and Alper’s strong vocal interplay. After that comes the epic “Silent Genesis,” which contains both the heaviest and lightest instrumentals in its 10-minute package. The standout track is next, with Alper’s delicate, indie-esque delivery taking the reins over the record’s most rocking chorus, gently showered with sparse piano hits. “Ghosts & Typhoons” is an interesting mishmash of garage-rock fuzz and arpeggiated synths, and “Beyond Our Bodies” can only be described as a feedback-heavy power ballad. Closing it out is the 13-minute title track, in which all the previous sounds are contained.
It’s evident in listening to Eupnea that Courtney and Alper have focused on writing an album that appeases their fans, as opposed to taking any crazy new steps forward. People who weren’t fans of prog-rock before probably still won’t be after listening to Eupnea, but people who enjoyed listening to the band before the breakup will find plenty to enjoy in their return.