25 Yard Screamer: Keep Sending Signals (2016)

Written by: Kev Rowland

I was more than a little surprised to discover that this is the sixth studio album from 25YS, a Welsh progressive rock outfit who formed in 2002 after Donal Owen (drums) and Matt Clarke (bass) augmented Nick James (guitar, vocals) at a showcase gig in Bracknell, for his then solo project. This 2016 album features four brand new pieces of music and four reworking’s of very early material, again featuring the collaboration of Tom Bennett (keyboards, orchestrations) who had assisted with the recording of 2013’s ‘Something That Serves To Warn Or Remind’ (the band is still a trio when playing live).

Apparently the band have been quite heavy in the past, but here they are showing of a more restrained side to the music, having very much a classic neo-prog sound to what they are doing. The guitars are doing some interesting things, but there is no doubt that there is troubles with the mix. The drums are too far to the front, and don’t sound nearly powerful enough (which is a real shame, as Donal is putting his heart and soul into this), while Nick doesn’t really have the Steve Hogarth vocal quality that he is going for, so possibly they should also have been pulled back a little. As it stands there is the impression that the band do have some things doing for them, and I am sure that in the live environment they would be well worth watching. But, six albums down the road the recording quality should be better than this.

Rating: 5/10

Track list:
Keep Sending Signals Pt1 // Keep Sending Signals Pt2 // Pulse // Pages // The Pictures Within // I’m An Explosive // A Memory // No Beautiful View


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