[Review] Poor Genetic Material – Here Now

Poor Genetic Material is a German Art/Progressive Rock band born in 1999, which over the years has changed lineup as well as musical orientation, initially focused on more experimental sounds. They have released 12 albums, the latest of which is “Here Now,” out on September 18, 2020, which continues the thematic speech of its predecessor “Absence.” While “Absence” is about loss, “Here Now” is about presence, which makes us forever tied to the Here and Now. It contains 6 medium-long duration tracks, including an epic of over 13 minutes, available in Digital, CD and strictly limited LP, produced by QuiXote Music. To report the presence at the lead and backing vocals of Philip Griffiths, son of the well-known singer of the historic Prog band Beggars Opera, Martin Griffiths, guest in the suite “The Garden.” The opener and title track “Here Now” begins with repeated and hypnotic keyboard sounds on which the other instruments are immediately inserted, giving life to a Prog theme with positive melodies. A solid rhythmic session, enriched by tempo changes, a full sound rich in melodic intertwining between the various instruments and a warm and expressive vocal. The central part is characterized by an instrumental section with the flute that brings the sound to a high level. With the return of the cantato for the closing stanzas the piece ends. “Serendipity” has a more linear rhythm than the previous one, which makes the track almost danceable, even if processed with pleasant tempo changes. The layers of keyboards guide the melodies, with flute and guitar inserts, and a vocal that fits well with the structure of the song. The shortest track on the album, but still well crafted, pleasant and smooth. A dark arpeggio of keyboards and a deep bass characterize the beginning of “The Waiting Game,” with a more melancholic atmosphere than the previous ones. The vocal is very expressive, adapting to the continuous changes of the piece and alternating softer moments with others more decisive and interpreted. The music is constantly evolving, with high-level tempo changes and the inevitable flute inserts, a real strength, while in the end the keyboards become protagonists intertwining with the guitar. “Note From My Younger Self” begins again with a dark and melancholy atmosphere between piano and flute and a deep and weighty bass. After this intro, it suddenly changes into a powerful Prog song, with majestic layers of keyboards and distorted guitar. The rhythmic session is very solid and upbeat, with Philip Griffiths‘ vocals always delicate and engaging. Alternating softer moments with stronger ones, it closes with a crescendo and increasing the intensity in the finish, an excellent track. We have reached the epic “The Garden,” the backbone of the album which sees the participation of Martin Griffiths, historic voice of Prog, whose indisputable vocal skills have remained of the highest level. Divided into 5 parts, where all the artists involved contribute to the evolution of the sound theme, with class and excellent technique. Full of tempo changes, weaves and sound embroideries that take us back in time to the golden age of Prog, with the personal touch of the band that makes this track superfine. Original and full of ideas, it uses the entire duration to develop the musical textures, without distracting moments, making this suite one of the best listened to in recent years. The final track “This Place” is another long song over 9:30 that starts with sweet flute and keyboard melodies, with a deep vocal. The piece then develops with a rhythmic session also here in continuous evolution and with the intensity that increases with the passing of the minutes. In the central part there is a short section with flute and very soft keyboards, and then returns to increase, offering a good guitar solo in the final that guides us to the end. A band that confirms the good things heard over the years, showing a mature and high-level sound in all its aspects. The ideas contained here are many, all well developed, with excellent attention to detail, both musical and vocal. The flute with his interventions adds positive notes, as well as the presence of Martin Griffiths, starting from a base already of the highest level. An album recommended to all lovers of Progressive sounds, with symphonic and melodic traits, pleasant and smooth, which at each listening reveals pleasant new ideas. Congratulations to this band that has managed over the years to maintain a quality standard that is always at the top, with personal and original sounds and distinctive features.

Tracklist

  1. Here Now
  2. Serendipity
  3. The Waiting Game
  4. Note From My Younger Self
  5. The Garden
    I. The War II. The Garden III. The
    Theatre IV. The Silver Peacock V. The Peace
  6. This Place

Lineup

Philip Griffiths / Lead & Backing Vocals
Martin Griffiths / Lead Vocals on The Garden
Stefan Glomb / Guitars
Philipp Jaehne / Keyboards
Pia Darmstaedter / Flute
Dennis Sturm / Bass
Dominik Steinbacher / Drums & Backing Vocals

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Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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