Sons Of Alpha Centauri & Treasure Cat

Last Day Of Summer

Written by: PP on 14/10/2009 17:48:52

Now here's one of the most interesting premises for a record that I've seen in a long while. Instrumental epic rock act Sons Of Alpha Centauri - originating from Kent, UK - have teamed up with West Virginia, US based 'driving riff rock' band Treasure Cat to write a split album together. And it isn't just your ordinary split album where both bands shove five of their songs your way and hope that the other band's fans will catch on as well. No, this is way more interesting. Okay fair enough, out of the 11 tracks on the album a total of eight is written solely by either band, but those are there just to get the listener familiar with how each band sounds like. What's really interesting here are the remaining three tracks, which the two bands have written together in different formations, because both bands sound very different in practice.

On red corner you've got the metallic, slicing riffs of Treasure Cat, as demonstrated on "Battle Of Britain". On blue corner, you've got the way more subtle and complex progressive rock of Sons Of Alpa Centauri, which shows hints of psychedelia in places, which you are given a good feel for on "Tribute To Harmonius". Pretty much the only thing these guys share in common is the fact that neither band has a vocalist. So that's why it's all the more interesting to see what comes out when you put the two ingredients in a small box, rapidly shake it and see what the end result tastes like. "The Flying Dutchman" is the first of such tracks, and strangely enough, it's a track that shares next to no resemblance to either band's sound. Instead, the track's essentially a stoner rock track with some rowdy groove and even trumpet/horns typical to southern rock! "Last Day Of The Summer", the second collaborative track, also bears a distinct stoner rock base, with some hints to Karma To Burn, Clutch, Helmet and other similar bands, while "Fire" has sections that could've been on a Queens Of The Stone Age album. But despite the sound being quite far from either band's original sounds, on some strange level you still feel like stoner rock is the perfect mid point between the two. It's as if the two vastly different sounds intertwine seamlessly like two parts that make a whole. It's just too bad there are only three collaborative tracks, because I for one could've done with just two 'example' tracks by each band, and then 7 tracks of collaboration...but I guess that's kind of hard considering how there's an ocean between the two bands.

But being intellectually challenging and interesting will only take you so far. If you disregard the undeniable excitement that comes from realizing how this project approaches genius in the way that it has been put together, the songs aren't actually that amazing as standalone tracks. They're merely decent, instrumental rock tracks that don't really sound like any of the other heavy weights in the genre, here I'm thinking Pelican, Don Caballero, Dysrhythmia, Scale The Summit and so forth. So original as they may be, I feel like each song is still missing the 'wow' factor that'll separate it from the rest. But a really cool idea, thumbs up!

7

Download: The Flying Dutchman, Last Day Of Summer
For the fans of: Clutch, Helmet, Karma To Burn, Queens Of The Stone Age
Listen: Sons Of Alpha Centauri, Treasure Cat

Release date Summer 2009
Underdogma Records

No Myspace player for this album available, check out individual tracks on each band's Myspace pages

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