FRUUPP - MODERN MASQUERADES

FRUUPP - MODERN MASQUERADES

LP (12"/10" Album)

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Label: LONGHAIR

Release date: 10/06/2021

Barcode: 4035177002645

Catalog no.: LHC0000264

Item ID: 507856

This is an official re-release on vinyl under licensed courtesy of BMG Rights Management, UK, remastered from an original master copy out of the vaults of BMG. This album was originally released in 1975 on Pye Records' progressive imprint Dawn. Fruup were a 1970 progressive rock band, which originated in Belfast, Northern Ireland, but developed a fan base in Great Britain. They were relatively popular, particularly on the student scene and as a supporting act for such bands as Genesis, King Crimson and Queen. 'Modern Masquerades' was their 4th album. The sheer quality of the breezy musicianship is intoxicatingly attractive, from the solid foundation of drummer Martin Foye and his hyper-active bassist partner Peter Farrelly, whose voice is crushingly poignant as well, while new keyboardist John Mason decorates with shining precision, never too flashy but clearly always elegant (especially his electric piano work is really stunning). Guitarist Vince McCusker provides a raw, bluesier axe ride, closer perhaps to Martin Barre that fails not to please. Side one starts with 'Misty Morning Way' and 'Masquerading With Dawn', jaw droppers while enticing the listener with unexpected reflections of passionate prog. The highlight composition is certainly the 10 minute 'Gormenghast', a wholly appetizing slice of progressive rock with some Focus-like tempos, delicately weaving within the soundscapes provided by some stellar piano and sax, McCusker's fretboard glowing brightly, with incredible restraint. 'Gormenghast' being a full prog rock epic, with a hint of Canterbury about the edges and a direction not unlike that Camel would take in the later years. John Mason's more subtle keyboard style works to the album's advantage, allowing the other instrumentalists in the band a chance to take the spotlight. Side two: 'Mystery Night' sounds a bit strange, until an angelic voice of irrepressible beauty enters the fray, the piano dancing in apparent glee, all waltzing to a melody that shapes the soul. It gets heavier midway through, massive waves of drum-propelled mellotron blasts, while the equestrian bass gallops off into the sunset, laying down some bopping furrows that are shockingly good! The raspy organ solo then shines some bluesy boogie into the picture; the guitar chugging along "funky" style: This is 'fabulastic stuff'! 'Why' is a short interlude, a simply unselfish ballad, undyingly fragile with its sorrowful attestation of honest love with a heavenly voice from Farrelly, piano again providing the musical backbone. A lovely piece of music! Last title 'Sheba's Song' is an 8 minute closer that has some superior moments cruising though some scintillating drumming à la Michael Giles, a sweet guitar loop that breeds well with the resonant e-piano droplets, and a successful little jazz/romp mid-section. Fruupp is a great band if Gabriel's Genesis and Renaissance please you because Fruupp is the perfect mix of these two bands. In the vein of Renaissance are securely the plots between melody and soli, also rhythmics. In the vein of Genesis are securely the various rhythm changes, also with particular rhythmic figures, not conventional. So the final result is complex in rhythm and easy in sound electric symphonic prog. That is perfect still today! This album should be part of any serious prog rock/symphonic rock collection. The album comes with 8 (!) sided coversize insert sheet with full bandstory by formerly manager and author Paul Charles, with all lyrics, rare photos etc. Great stuff. Don't miss it!

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