Proximity Butterfly - Arcana (2006) (9/10)
Genre: Psychedelic / Experimental / Progressive Rock
Playing time: 61:15
Band homepage: -
Kill the Popstar
Miles to Go
PROXIMITY BUTTERFLY is a diversified Psychedelic Rock band from Chengdu in the beautiful province of Sichuan that has been formed one decade ago by musicians from the People’s Republic of China, the United States of America and Canada. The band’s first regular record entitled “Arcana” came out in 2006 and is a more than promising debut album.
For one hour, the diversified band offers eight surprising songs that include influences from very different Rock and Metal bands of the seventies such as BLACK SABBATH, BLUE ÖYSTER CULT, LED ZEPPELIN and PINK FLOYD. The band also has a slightly modern touch reminding me of the experimental works by JANE’S ADDICTION, RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, SIGUR ROS or THE MARS VOLTA. Even fans of the last releases of MGMT or MUSE should try this album out because PROXIMITY BUTTERFLY are the most stunning Experimental Rock band from their country along with RAINBOW DANGER CLUB from Shanghai.
The band offers a quite unique blend of genres. The powerful male vocals give this band a charismatic identity. They have an angry tone but also a more laid back psychedelic style at some points. The diversified and hypnotizing guitar sounds have a very experimental approach but feel never overlong or confusing in my opinion. Even the more complex epics including exotic instrumental passages or Jazz parts on here have their catchy passages and clear guiding lines. Let’s mention that the bass sound on here is quite good which comes as a positive surprise because bassist Heather Judson didn’t even play this instrument when the band was established three years prior to this release. This shows that these free artists on here have some natural talent and they already use it very well. The drum play is very energizing and adds a special touch to the sound because it is sometimes more Metal than Rock orientated in my opinion. Progressive Metal fans should dig the powerhouse drumming and the straighter vocals.
It’s hard to point out any highlights because all songs work well and need some time to grow but I immediately liked the opening “The Packeys” because it mixes the catchier parts with the heavily experimental side of the band. The vivid “Kill The Popstar” is probably the song with the biggest single potential on here and feels refreshing between many sophisticated epics. “Like Snow” has some laid back passages with appeasing high pitched vocals and is one of the calmer tracks on here. “Satellite” is on the other side a completely crazy Psychedelic Rock trip that would have been a worldwide hit if had been released in the seventies. It's some sort of a modern "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" by IRON BUTTERFLY or even better. This song is beyond music because it creates pictures with sound and is a disturbing but beautiful experience to go through.
All those who care for Psychedelic or Progressive Rock or original Rock music in general, can’t get around this release. The People’s Republic of China has a constantly growing impressive Experimental Rock scene that is at least as relevant as the contemporary scenes in the United Kingdom or the United States of America. Check out this album on the band’s last.fm presence and enjoy your crazy ride through influences from five decades of experimental Rock music.
(Online November 13, 2013)
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