PURSON – ‘The Circle And The Blue Door’

pursonPURSON – ‘The Circle And The Blue Door’
Just out on Rise Above/Metal Blade Records is the debut album of Purson – Britain’s newest face of ethereal prog rock.  If your music collection is lacking in dark whimsy and nostalgia for late 60’s psych, wait no further to pick up a copy of The Circle and the Blue Door.   Vocalist, 22-year-old Rosie Cunningham, channels, as if through ritual séance, both the melodic variations of Ian Anderson as well as the vocal tone of female singers like Tori Amos.  Think ‘Dragon’ or ‘Velvet Revolution’.  But her tone reaches much deeper, hollowing out a velvety subterranean space, and beckons us to explore.  Spinning off late-era Beatles-esque psychedelia, they fill their songs with obscure references, transforming the band members’ real-life events into whimsical dramatizations.  They also borrow judiciously from the Beatles’ library of effects.  The stereophonic phase-happy guitar is probably the key factor in how circular this album feels.  It’s like an acid trip in some child’s nightmare where ‘Blue Jay Way’ plays distorted on loop through a giant wind-up music box.  In songs like ‘Tempest and the Tide’, reference is made to Jimmy Page’s more acoustic ramblings.  However, Purson favors arpeggiation and long-winded melodic lines over the more riff rock groove of Zeppelin.  The exception to this may be ‘Leaning on a Bear’, whose super enchanting video accompaniment is slowly climbing the modern day music video chart that is YouTube.  In this one, the lead guitar is blatantly chasing the shadows of Deep Purple’s earlier days.  This song is so incredibly well executed, and the band sounds so ‘at home’ here, that it’s a bit of a mystery as to why they didn’t take a similar direction with more songs.  Had they done so, perhaps this album would rock just that bit harder.  (7)  
MOODY ANDERS

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