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The C Sides Project - 10 Days

The C Sides Project
10 Days
by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 24 December 2018, 12:53 AM

The C SIDES PROJECT are a Progressive Rock band, based in South Wales; “10 Days” is their third album, a concept about American Reporter Nellie Bly, who spent ten days in an insane asylum on Blackwell Island.   I am not familiar with this story but this album definitely changed my mind on that, and it certainly made for an interesting but very uneven listen.

Unfortunately, like so many concept albums, this album runs into pacing issues, specially with tracks Day 4 thru Day 7.  I understand they are telling a story that obviously means something to them but…I’m not in that band.  I’m a listener and as such, I found these four tracks to be pure filler and it really killed the flow of the album for me.  All of them are under three minutes, thus not really having the time to go anywhere or do anything interesting.  Far as flow goes, they would it would be better to have left them out or add them to the beginning or ending to the other tracks.

It is a shame though because the album starts out so strong.  The first three tracks are extremely well done.  “Day 1,” gives a very brief spoken word portion on what the album is about before the band jumps right to it.  Allen Mason-Jones' drumming is extremely flashy yet focused—he provides an excellent rhythm section that not only lays the foundation but also becomes the music’s driving force.  Allen McCarthy bass is of a similar style: there for rhythm but stays to become a very important component of everything the band does.  His vocals are smooth as butter too, providing a chance to immediately enjoy and be hooked by what he is saying.  He really reminds me of a much less gruff version of RUSSEL ALLEN from SYMPHONY X.

Martin Rosser provides a kick ass lead guitar solo—this guy has some chops and can also really get a nice groove going, something I don’t often hear in Prog Rock.   He really balances the mood of the album with the way he quickly switches between melody and more riff based textures.  Sian's vocals are a welcome condition and work well with Allen's voice, and she is powerful enough to sing on her own as well. “Day 2” switches vocals back and forth between the two singers and it makes for a very catchy listen.  The band goes full force about three minutes into it, adding a sort of jamming session feel.  Kevin Dawson's keyboards meld perfectly into the song, they have purpose but also sound a little trippy which is perfect for the album’s story.

Day 3,” bursts open immediately, filled with melodic leads and acoustic guitar.  The bass and drums join in soon; the song is a bit more lighthearted and bouncy than the previous two and it was a nice change of pace.  The guitar lead, and accompanying bass, kicks the intensity up a bit for the song’s ending. After the muddled middle part of the album plays through, though, it never really catches back up.  “Day 8” mixes spoken word/recorded audio passages with Sian's vocals; she does a create a job and the rhythm section carries her well.  Is the album finally back on track?  Sadly, no.  “Day 9” stops the album just as it was picking up speed, with an interesting instrumental track that just doesn't provide any real substance.

Day 10” must be some sort of reprise because it sounds very similar to the first few tracks and even contains some of the same lyrics—but they pull it off well and is a great example of the band’s overall sound presented on the album.  But, once again, the next track kills the flow.  The last track is a softer, more ballad type track, that is, well, just not very interesting. The band members are very talented and obviously know their Prog very well but this concept album just falls a bit flat for my personal tastes—still,  I am looking forward to what they can do next.  Hopefully, their next album will be a bit more focused in its presentation.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Day 1
2. Day 2
3. Day 3
4. Day 4
5. Day 5
6. Day 6
7. Day 7
8. Day 8
9. Day 9
10. Day 10
11. Day 11 – On Reflection
Lineup:
Allen McCarthy – Vocals, Bass
Sian Elson  - Vocals
Martin Rosser – Guitar
Kevin Dawson – Keyboard
Allen Mason-Jones -Drums
Record Label: White Knight Records
     


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Edited 12 November 2019
 

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