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You won’t have heard of this band. I hadn’t heard of them until an old mate of mine from my roadie days contacted me and told me to check them out. I get a lot of that from people ‘Hey Glenn, check this band out!’ and usually within a minute I’m back to doing what I was doing before I was interrupted but not this time. This time, I listened and dug deeper.


Anyone who knows me will tell you that my taste in music is both eclectic and needs melody, it also needs to have an identity, be rooted in Rock ‘n’ Roll but also – and this applies to new bands – be something either I hear progress in or something I haven’t heard before and The Deadtime Philharmonic tick all those boxes; I can count the bands that have done that to me on two hands over my last two decades on this planet. 


Right then, the music. Genre? They don’t have one. Direction? Any way they want to go. Image? No. Can you be a bit more descriptive? Not really. This is a band that defies all the current trends in the ‘music business’ and just sets out to write good songs with a good feeling and ignores all the boundaries. They are the Queen of the 2020s giving a two-fingered salute to what is and what the record executives want and the band’s frontman Murdoch writes about stuff the politicians don’t want you to hear – the truth. I do not write these next few words lightly; he is a spokesman for his generation.


If it feels like I’m teasing you, I am and that’s because I want you to go and check this band out for yourself. Forget all your prejudices and your preferences and just have a listen. Thirty seconds of your life, don’t like them, fair enough but I think there will be plenty of you out there that will. They also produce highly original and provocative storyboard videos which go places and touch on taboos not seen since Bronski Beat did the Smalltown Boy video back in 1984. Social commentary, yes but as they say, the truth is out there.


I write no more except this: I recommended this band to two friends. The first is a lover of stuff from the eighties, U2, Tears For Fears, Culture Club etc and the second loves Metal; Voivod, Dark Angel and Venom. Both emailed me and they both told me they liked Thee Deadtime Philharmonic, one even mentioned Porcupine Tree in his praising of the band.


Now there’s musical diversity for you.


Track List

Lions To Lambs
I’ll Wrap This Round Yer
Bad lad
Go On
Greed Will Eat Us All
Babylon Workin’
That Estate Up There
Idiot Village
Look What’s Left
Maggie’s Babies
Sonic P.C.P.

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Progressive Gears

This is an EP. I don’t generally review EPs but there are two reasons why I am doing this one. Firstly, I’ve only just discovered them with this release and having gone back and listened to their last full-length album, Black Science figured they deserved some more publicity and secondly, the EP is a free/pay-what-you-want digital download, done so to raise awareness of their next full album coming in 2022 and by the way, this is no get-something-out-for Christmas promotional gimmick (it was released on Dec 25th), it is four new tracks, twenty-five minutes of music, all lovingly recorded with their new line-up. Happy New Year then from Machines Dream to Prog Rockers all around the world.


A bit about the band to start off with. Formed in 2009 and hailing from Ontario in Canada, they released their debut album in 2011 which in their words was ‘paid homage to Progressive bands of the past’. A year later they signed to the British label Sonic Vista/Aurovine and a year after that signed to Progressive Gears management. Two more albums followed (Immunity in 2014 and the previously mentioned Black Science in 2017) both seeing the band finding their own voice and then of course, just as they were making waves, as with every other band in the world covid sent them into limbo. Onto the music.


They certainly know how to write and record a Prog song. They take their time to build climaxes, never rush to a crescendo and are terrific at creating images. The balance between the keyboards that tinkle over floating atmospheres as acoustic guitars are strummed or picked which is then savagely interrupted by the entire band in full flight is first rate Prog. There are moments reminiscent of Pink Floyd and Barclay James Harvest, often in the same song which reading this may sound like an odd blend but Machines Dream make it work and you can add some splashes of King Crimson into that mix for good measure.


Three of the tracks are around five minutes long, the final one running at just over eleven minutes and it shows the band at their creative best being the most intriguing and well-constructed of the four where every member gets to show how in-tune they are with each other. Their choice of sounds for the instruments is delightful and often vintage, their playing influenced by the greats but also inventive and the production has clarity, spacious when it needs to be and powerful when they are in overdrive.

All in all then, a very nice little sampler of what is to come from Machines Dream in 2022 and just to reiterate, in case you’ve forgotten, it’s free but if you do download it and you do like it, do the lads a favour and shove them a few quid – they deserve it.

Track List

Edge Of The World



The Standing Field