[Review] Airbag – A Day At The Beach

Airbag is a Neo Prog band from Oslo in Norway that has lived through various stages throughout its history, with several lineup changes. They started playing together with this moniker in 1994 and then changed elements in the linuep in 199, remaining stable until today, but the band officially began to work in 2004, the year of the publication of their first EP. From that first record release to date, Airbag have released 3 EPs and 5 Full-Lenghts, the latest of which “A Day At the Beach” released on Karisma Records on June 19, 2020. The album, available on LP, CD and Digital , contains 6 long-running tracks, with a solid guitar-centric sound, showing the band’s artistic maturity after the separation from two elements and remained a trio. The opener “Machines And Men” begins with a hypnotic melody on which the various instruments and an expressive voice are gradually inserted. The intensity increases with the passage of the song, with a structure enriched by tempo changes, electronic inserts that intertwine with analog instruments creating a pleasant malgamation. The second part is characterized by an instrumental section where the guitar draws a good solo and the rhythm session, as well as the layers of the keyboard are pulled, with supporting bass lines and with the return of the vocal for the last verse the song closes. “A Day At The Beach (Part 1)” is the first part of the title track and shortest track on the album, which begins with layers of keyboards and piano with calm and soft melodies, as well as the warm and expressive vocals. The bass is deep and the drum delicate, a track full of pathos, pleasant and smooth. “Into The Unknown” is again characterized by a hypnotic synth arpeggio on which layers of headboards are inserted and another excellent performance by Asle Tostrup on vocals, the true strength of the album. First part of the song that remains soft and more in the form of a ‘song,’ and then in the central part with a change, it turns into a more atmospheric track, with pleasant melodies and a good guitar solo, and then closes down. An intricate drum begins “Sunsets,” with tight, leading bass lines, and more symphonic openings alternating with calmer, softer sections. Guitar and keyboards are pleasantly intertwined in the central part, while in the second part, after the last verse sung, the piece offers a long instrumental section with the guitar master of the sound. “A Day At The Beach (Part 2)” is the second part of the title-track that begins with a hypnotic note and repeated with atmospheric layers on the keyboards, on which again with the passing of the minutes the others are gradually inserted. instruments. A slow song with the keyboards protagonists of the sound, and then in the second part leave room for a melancholy electric guitar solo that accompanies us until the closing. “Megalomaniac” is the final track of the album, characterized by an introductory part with a melancholic guitar arpeggio and an electronic rhythm with programming. The vocal is warm and expressive and after the first verse a deep and incisive bass line is inserted, before the entry of the drum and spatial guitar inserts. With a change in the middle of the song, it turns into a more aggressive Rock track with the guitar always a great protagonist, between powerful riffs and a pleasant solo, and then develops this theme until the final in descent. A well-structured and executed album, managing with technique and quality to compensate for the exit from the group by two elements and having to change not only the structure but also the compositional dynamics. Focused mainly on the guitar, all the instruments collaborate to the good result of the sound, creating a good music with a solid rhythm session and good keyboard inserts. An album recommended to all fans of modern Prog sounds, with good vocals and musical parts that denote experience and maturity on the part of the artists involved in the project.

Tracklist

1. Machines and Men (10:48)
2. A Day at the Beach (Part 1) (3:55)
3. Into the Unknown (10:27)
4. Sunsets (8:16)
5. A Day at the Beach (Part 2) (5:33)
6. Megalomaniac (9:50)

Lineup

Asle Tostrup / Lead Vocals, Keyboards, Programming
Bjørn Riis / Guitars, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Henrik Fossum / Drums

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Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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