Carptree’s newest release, Insekt is moody, dark, deliberate and catchy. Not since The Watch’s Vacuum have I heard this much quality from this sector of the prog world. That sector being the Gabriel-era Genesis meets Fish’s Marillion by way of Danny Elfman. Small niche, I know.
“Taxonomic Days” begins the CD big and majestic with an aggressive neo-prog approach, similar to Arena or early Marillion. Next up is “Mashed Potato Mountain Man,” bass pulsating like a heartbeat and the “chunka-chunka” guitars giving more regard to the beat than some of the comparisons I’ve given so far. It’s almost what Genesis would be like if Peter had discovered world music while staying in the band.
There is an excellent percolating moog solo on “Evening Sadness” that really cooks. Carl Westholm must be studying that Moog Cookbook I’ve heard so much about. The angular guitar attack that starts off “Big Surprise” may remind you of King Crimson until Niclas Flinck’s treated vocal comes in and grounds you with as close to straight ahead rock and roll as this CD gets. The last cut, “Stressless” would not sound out of place on a Roger Waters solo album.
There is so much great music on this disc, it feels criminal to not touch on each and every track. I can’t go into too much more except that if you enjoy the last couple of Watch recordings for their similarities to the “Lamb Lies Down On Broadway” sound, you can’t go wrong with Carptree’s Insekt either.
Reviewed by Terry Jackson on September 8th, 2007