The Pearson Memmott Conspiracy -
Freedom, Industry and Providence

(CD 2022, 46:53, Spurious Records SP003)

The tracks:
  1- Save Something From The Wreckage(5:30)
  2- Dance The Dark Away(3:35)
  3- Philosophy(4:10)
  4- Moving The Mountain(5:26)
  5- This Is The Life(6:52)
  6- The Cephalons Of Alcor(21:12)

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When two musicians from Sheffield, Northern England got together to make some original music, some interesting things happened. Both Pod Pearson and Richard Memmott formed the The Pearson Memmott Conspiracy back in 2015 and have since released one EP (Extended Play) in 2016 and one full length studio album (The Soundtrack To An Ordinary Day, see review) in 2020. Released at the beginning of 2022, Freedom, Industry And Providence is their second full length release and it paints a truly English portrait.

On this album they've presented us with six new tracks, five of which are shorter affairs (by progressive rock standards anyway) and one huge beast that closes the show. The trio on this release consists of Pod Pearson (Guitars, Vocals and Synths), Richard Memmott (Bass, Vocals and Keyboards) and Dean Cousins (Drums, Percussion and Gong!).

The first track to greet us on our way is Save Something From The Wreckage. From its dramatic intro to its chorus of "Save father, save mother, save all we can from this pain" we're introduced to their ear worm infested style of rock that really has something to say. There's a nice, full sound to the song with its shimmering keys and huge backing vocals. The fundamentals of the entire album are present here - it's catchy, rhythmically fluid (the drumming is particularly sweet on this one) and it features some delightful guitar playing too! Sprightly second song Dance The Dark Away is the shortest song on the album. It opens with crisp acoustic guitar and has a really upbeat, instrumental foundation throughout. There's some lively bass playing which adds to the feel-good energy of the song and I simply love it. The cheeky lyrical content of the chorus adds to its charm and hearing lines such as "Through Channel 4 and ITV, Satellites and BBC" it gives the whole thing a distinctly British twang. It's catchy, accessible and most certainly a joy to listen to. Starting off in a more relaxed, jazzy fashion is Philosophy. This song brings a slower pace to the party, but adds a lovely dynamic to the album's overall feel. The track features a rather modest keyboard solo which suits the laid back style of the song. There's great lyrics spread across the board, but one of my favourites is "And all I've learned, it's better when you do it well, so take good care of all the people that you love". With its snazzy intro, Moving The Mountain brings the energy levels back up again. The electric guitar playing on this really smacks you around the chops. It's layered and anthemic, making you feel like you really could move a mountain when listening to it, especially when played at full volume. This is my favourite track on the album at the time of writing. The first half of This Is The Life keeps the momentum going from the previous song with its driving guitars. Synths cut through some solid drum and guitar playing here also. Around the half way point it begins to take things down, finishing the song with a whirling, yet dreamy, electric guitar solo - absolute quality. Once more great lyrics strike us, "Everyday is a little bit harder, madder, this is your lot, this is the life". This song sets us up nicely for the final track and it's a definite highlight of the album for me. Described on the album as "A futuristic fable in several sections", The Cephalons Of Alcor is the album's epic closing track and it certainly delivers the goods. As any decent, extended piece of music should do, it showcases all of the musical talent involved. Flowing through a range of emotions, it builds up nicely with the first couple of minutes giving us some acoustic guitar and luscious keys, bass and vocals preparing us for what is next - some of the most rocking moments on the album are featured on this one song. Coming in at just over twenty-one minutes in length, it's dynamic and gives the band space to show off their progressive chops. If you want one track to figure out what this band is all about then I would recommend going straight to this one. Instrumental passages come and go, providing everything I enjoy about this album in one neat package.

Despite being new music, it's an album that sounds familiar, like an old friend that has always been around - this is really down to the solid song writing from start to finish. Each track has a nice change in energy, so it never gets boring. The bass playing is a real highlight for me though, feeling funky throughout, but then all three musicians are excellent across the whole of the album. It's music that makes you want to eat fish and chips, drink a pint of Yorkshire Terrier and really just dance these darkest of times away. This is their strongest release yet, so don't delay in giving it a spin. Check out the links below to find out where to listen and purchase the album.

**** Rickalonius Monk

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