Exposé Online banner

Pure Reason Revolution — The Dark Third
(One Haven/Red 82876845082, 2006, CD)

by Jeff Melton, 2008-01-01:

The Dark Third Cover art

Pure Reason Revolution is part of a new breed of British Neo-progressive acts balancing neo-folk vocal phrases with familiar engaging art rock trappings. Led by guitarist Jon Courtney and bassist Chloë Alper, the band wears diluted spacey Pink Floyd motifs on their sleeve while delivering strongly realized vocal phrases closer to that of Steven Wilson's best work for Porcupine Tree minus the tricky riffs. The band is big on epic theme development from loose ambient sound structures but they are still in their infancy when honing a unique identifiable character. Tracks such as "Apprentice of the Universe" demonstrate mastery of a slow building groove with Enya-like harmonies, which may turn away as many ears as turn them on. Crafted pop is also one of the band's strong points, with "The Bright Ambassadors of Morning" being a vocal highlight in the vein of Polyphonic Spree. At times the band approaches the best work of Tears for Fears on pieces such as "Voices in the Winter" and "The Intention Craft." This University of Westminster quintet caught the ears of the NEARfest planning committee sometime in 1996, resulting in a 2007 stateside appearance which brought the group a fair amount of attention. I'd like to hear the band again in a few years once they've had a chance to grow their muse and channel it into a clearer more refined direction.


by Mike McLatchey, 2018-06-21:

So there are quite a few versions of this album in different orders and such, but really when I think of this album, I'm primarily thinking of certain songs: "Aeropause," "Goshen's Remains," "Apprentice of the Universe," "Nimos and Tambos," and "Bullitts Domine" primarily and some of these don't show up on certain versions. Anyway The Dark Third was an album I played a lot during a very bad time. It's a bit of a cliché I think to say an album gets you through and it wouldn't be true here, but it was definitely something that captured my feelings at the time both sonically and lyrically, an album I essentially connected very deeply with. I think for a moment in time this band created a sort of Pink Floyd meets Beach Boys meets Fleetwood Mac sound that no one else had really done and at their heights (the songs above) the young band created some timeless material before their muses took them in a more techno direction. The overall sound is very cosmic, as if each episode sort of moves from one dream state to another, and the vocal harmonies are crafted with a lot of depth, the melodies extremely catchy but not too sweet. I find it a bit hard to listen to now due to what it evokes, but I'm no less impressed by it when I do. It's a good example, also, of an album where I think the best songs are so good they tend to overwhelm some of the others (for example I like "Bright Ambassadors of Morning," but the chorus gets repetitive) and I've often just pulled it out and played the songs I like. But overall the approach was strong I still think of it as a modern classic.


Filed under: New releases , 2006 releases

Related artist(s): Pure Reason Revolution

More info

Latest news

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Chöying Drolma & Steve Tibbetts - Chö – Fans of Steve Tibbetts, especially those who prefer the world-beat master shredder of Exploded View (1986) or The Fall of Us All (1993), might be a bit put off by this set, a collaboration with...  (1999) » Read more

Robert Schroeder - Brainchips (Vocal Version) – Robert Schroeder is back at last. Many years have passed, eleven years even, since Everdreams came out in 1994. After such a while, it’s a rarity that composers haven’t been touched by time. On...  (2006) » Read more

October Equus - October Equus – October Equus is a new progressive quartet from Spain comprised of Victor Rodriguez on keyboards, Amanda Pazos on bass guitar, Txema Fernandes on drums, and Ángel Ontalva on guitars. On their...  (2007) » Read more

Mediæval Bæbes - Mirabilis – Collecting eight women into a chorus to perform English folk classics and traditional music is nothing new. What the Mediæval Bæbes do differently however is based on their capable...  (2006) » Read more

Bittová & Václavek - Bílé Inferno – There is something eminently fascinating about East European culture, where the simple human voice in their command becomes a monolith — transmitting the pathos of an entire civilization (one...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues