Bjørn Riis — Lullabies in a Car Crash
(Karisma KAR087, 2014, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2015-01-03
Bjørn Riis, lead guitarist and main songwriter for Norwegian prog band Airbag has just released his debut solo album Lullabies in a Car Crash. This is a very personal musical statement with songs about fear of abandonment, alienation, and loss. Sound familiar? My immediate thoughts, just based upon the title alone, were this sounds like a new Steven Wilson or Porcupine Tree album. It is amazing the impact that Wilson has had on modern music. Lullabies in a Car Crash bears a very strong resemblance to The Incident, especially on “Stay Calm” with its similarities to “Time Flies.” I also detect some hints of Steve Thorne’s “Well Outta That” from Emotional Creatures – Part One. There are six songs on Lullabies in a Car Crash featuring Bjørn’s emotional guitar playing and brooding vocals, this being the first time he has taken the lead as a singer. Clocking in at around 50 minutes, Lullabies in a Car Crash is epic in scope and more than a Steven Wilson pastiche, Bjørn pays homage to him. These are well-composed, orchestrated, and executed songs. Lullabies in a Car Crash also features Airbag’s drummer Henrik Fossum and synthesist Asle Tostrup. The ordering of the songs is such that over the course of the disc the music builds to a climax with the final two tracks, “The Crash” and the title track. Lullabies in a Car Crash is a very strong musical statement and one of 2014’s high points.
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more