[Review] Green Asphalt – Green Asphalt

Green Asphalt is a Progressive Rock project born from an idea by Gentle Giant collaborator Dan Bornemark. The self-titled debut album was released on March 11, 2022 containing 7 tracks ranging from 4 to over 10 minutes. 17 years of work have allowed the release of this album, which recalls in the sounds the bands of the early 70s, Gentle Giant and Genesis above all. The album opens with the title track “The Green Asphalt” which begins with a fine mix of guitar and keyboards and the three voices. The first half of the piece is characterized by dreamy melodies, and then in the second it increases in intensity with a good pastoral touch of the flute. The plots are refined and immediately immerse us in the Symphonic Prog atmosphere of the album, bringing to mind the 70s with a modern and personal touch. The following track “´Xcuse Me” opens with an intricate texture of keyboard and guitar on which the vocals are inserted, while the rhythm session is enriched with continuous tempo changes. A succession of emotions and elaborate passages where the technique of the artists involved is enhanced, with the right alternation of sung and instrumental parts. In the second part a guitar solo stands out in the instrumental section, leaving space for the keyboards, an excellent track. A sweet piano characterizes the intro of “Walking Her Dog” to which a softer rhythm and a warm and expressive vocal are added. After a softer first part, the track increases in intensity with the passing of the minutes, developing with refined textures and an excellent mix between the instruments that emphasizes the compositional and executive technique of the band. We are in the central part of the album with “She´s a Cow” which, after a first introductory part with dreamy features, mixes various genres and styles. With Folk, Prog and intricate passages that alternate with other more melodic ones, with tempo changes that capture the listener’s attention. Excellent intertwining between keyboards, winds and guitar with instrumental parts of exquisite workmanship and engaging solo inserts. “Suit Yourself” is characterized by more experimental traits of Prog, with a rhythmic session and intricate melodies, with continuous tempo changes. A very intense and elaborate track that manages to propose complex sounds in an accessible and engaging way for the listener. Tracing the sounds of the previous track “200 Girls” continues in the sound experimentation, always of a Progressive matrix and with a personal and modern touch. The vocal is biting and deep, while the atmospheres are darker in some parts and then open up into more symphonic sections. An excellent combination that once again enhances the techniques of the artists involved. The album closes with “Time in Your Face” which is the longest track on the album, lasting over 10 minutes, and starts with a guitar arpeggio and a warm and expressive vocal. A winning blend of sounds from the past that remind us of both Genesis and Gentle Giant, with the band’s personal and most modern touch. Continuous tempo changes and excellent vocal plots both spoken and sung, with that Baroque touch that mixes with Progressive Rock. A song that pleasantly concludes this album, leaving us with the desire to listen to it again. An excellent album, which takes inspiration from the sounds of the early ’70s and manages to re-propose those atmospheres in a modern key and with personal traits. Refined textures, tempo changes and an excellent vocal make this listening very pleasant and one of the best albums listened to in recent times. A listen recommended for lovers of Progressive Rock sounds, with a good blend of 70s and modern features with the personal touch of the band.

Tracklist

01. The Green Asphalt (04:03)
02. ´Xcuse Me (06:33)
03. Walking Her Dog (06:21)
04. She´s a Cow (07:17)
05. Suit Yourself (06:46)
06. 200 Girls (06:05)
07. Time in Your Face (10:27)

Lineup

Björn Claeson / Flute, Saxophone
Bengt Baadtoft Johnson / Drums
Hjördis Bornemark / Voice
Helena Josefsson / Voice
Signe Bornemark / Voice
Niklas Ekelund / Guitar
Dan Bornemark / Lead Vocals, Keyboards & Acoustic Guitar

Green Asphalt |Official Website|Bandcamp|Facebook Page|YouTube Channel|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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