Unofficial / Fan Reviews
Always Almost mini-gig review
I've just returned from the free acoustic Always Almost mini-gig at Tower Records in northeast Philadelphia.
This really is a neat little band. They played about a half dozen songs from their new CD "God Pounds his Nails" and a few older ones as well. The songs are well written and melodic, and the band is tight, featuring rich vocal harmonies.
I'm really surprised this band doesn't get more recognition. They are a bit more main-stream than most pure prog groups, but their songs are extremely well written, and there is no question that people would like them if they only heard them. They have a fantastic stage presence and are very entertaining to see live.
I noticed that Tower Records was preparing for a huge crowd in the morning as Spice Girls tickets were going on sale. If only those people knew and understood they could have seen a band with a zillion times more personality, musicianship, and downright better songs than the Spice Girls for free at the same store!!!!
Always Almost is very much looking forward to their gig with Discipline in downtown Philadelphia on Saturday May 9th.
This will be a full blown out electric performance (from both bands) in a comfortable and visually and acoustically stimulating setting at an historical theater.
I'm starting to hear from a lot of people planning on attending this show, and am glad there are lots
of others sharing the enthusiasm.
FROM: Richard Schwarz <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Album release, Always Almost
Yes, I just witnessed a live show in Balto. last night. AA did an excellent set and sometimes I thought " this is really good stuff, I hear some grit like Zep or Who". I didn't get the new CD but got a call this morning saying it's really good.
FROM: email@example.com (ILUVATARjr)
Always Almost CD: "God Pounds His Nails" ]
I vote for liking this album. Whether one wishes to consider it progressive in the anal and narrow terms of this group is beyond my caring. Some songs are very straight and to the point. To me it sounds just as they describe themselves, a mix of the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and the Who. If the concept of this appeals to you you will not be dissappointed. All songs are high quality, and well thought out musically. Yes, it is music on the fringe of Prog, Alternative, Retro etc. but after the reputation these members have I believe they know what they are doing and what they wish to sound like. This is music written to please the band, what some card carrying members of the prog brigade think I would guess is besides the point.
From GRANTCO@webtv.net (Grant Colburn)
Always Almost CD: "God Pounds His Nails"
...it's simply a great album. dont refuse to listen to it b/c some _listeners_ limit themselves musically. god forbid, i actually like some of the songs on this one better than many echolyn songs... they're _well arranged_, and incredibly _expressive_. i think the lyrics are better than the echolyn days too. i highly recommend it.
steve hatch <firstname.lastname@example.org>
RE: Always Almost-Great CD
I got a copy of Always Almost "God Pounds his Nails." This is a great CD. I like it better than any of the Echolyn stuff I've heard which is why I was originally reluctant to try this.
The CD features really good song writing and performances. I'm surprised there hasn't been more discussion of this band.
email@example.com (Darren Capriotti)
I've been listening to this album a lot myself lately, and agree with you 100%. It is really good.
The album features songs. I mention this, only to make the difference between a lot of prog recordings that seem to feature long epics, or pieces. (Not that there's anything wrong with that!) Although the last track features a very cool, sort of bluesy, jam.
The songs are good. I consider them similar to songs written by Adrian Belew, or even Marillion. So if you are a fan of that type of music, you ought to check out "God Pounds his Nails."
Having seen their live performance in Baltimore in December, I'll add that they are a very impressive live band as well.
Richard Schwarz <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Re: Almost Always question
The vocal harmonies are very much reminiscent of echolyn, but musically instead of the Gentle Giant-ish* echolyn sound, it's closer to a Beatles sound with a smidgen of Who and a drop of Cream. There's more focus on the songs than on the individual players, so if you are looking for alot of flashy instrumental sections, this may not be for you. But if you enjoy well written and arranged soulful tunes, I'd highly recommend checking them out.
* Actually, there is still a Gentle Giant influence: The new Always Almost CD ends with an excellent cover of GG's "Aspirations" with guest keyboardist Pat Strawser of Volare'.
Adam Levin <email@example.com>
Always Almost (at least their newest one) has similarites mainly in the vocal arrangements and harmonies. Without a keyboard player per se (yes, I heard the hammond), they sound more blues/rock/alternative. But that's not neccessarily bad, as I like the disc a lot, but then again I also love King's X and RadioHead, etc. so not everyone on [rec.music.progressive] might not get into it. But there is a extended version of a Gentle Giant tune on God Pounds His Nails that rocks, so if you enjoy modern sounding music that isnt stuck in the 70's, but with progressive leanings and unpredictablity, then I'd get it.
Re: Best Of '97
Best Live Shows(of those I saw): Iluvatar/Always Almost/Discipline - Orion Studios
Marillion - Toad's Place, New Haven
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Rich Silva)