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- Of This And Other Worlds by Hidden Masters
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Rise Above Records are back this week with another brand new record that sounds like it’s been dug up from some vault of lost ‘70s hard rock treasures. This time it’s the stylings of Hidden Masters, an all-boy band who mix twangy psychedelic pop and folky prog with big Jethro Tull-esque harmonies. It’s very slick stuff, kind of like a Canterbury take on Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats or something. The arrangements are impeccable, with the interplay between the vocals being particularly entertaining and the songs structured pacily and with relentless melodies bringing to mind Yes, Pentangle, sea shanties, early David Bowie and the Byrds at various points, but with all the songs bustling along at a lively pace with some Deep Purple hard rock theatrics.
There’s something about it that at times is like a stage musical or pantomime. ‘Nobody Knows That We’re Here’ sounds almost like it could be an outtake from Tim Burton’s ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ soundtrack and the bouncy ‘Like Candy’ which follows it sounds whimsical and bouncy enough to be co-opted into some lighthearted TV advert for mobile phones or something. In places it sounds a little bit like Matt Berry’s superbly-observed ‘70s parodying ‘AD/BC’ as well, especially in the tip-toeing closer ‘Fall in Line’ with its bombastic staccato riffing and walls of warm vocal harmony. It’s certainly in thrall to all things ‘70s but it’s done with enough affection and fun that it’s more tribute than pastiche. Thoroughly entertaining psychedelic rock like you didn’t think anybody made any more.
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