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Flash

In The Can

Review by Gary Hill

The second album from Peter Banks’ first post Yes band, this one finds the group producing some of the best material. It’s one of the hardest albums from them to find, but is also one of their best. I’d say that a couple of the tracks here are among the best music the band ever did. It’s worth the effort necessary to secure a copy.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Lifetime
They open the disc with a ten plus minute number. I love the bass work on this thing. The cut seems to merge the early Yes sound with psychedelic rock and more. It's not far removed from the kind of stuff Starcastle would later do in a lot of ways. I love the percussion with processed vocal section mid-track. The mellower motif as it comes out of there is very much in line with the type of stuff Banks did with Yes. They take it through some killer jamming for a while. It eventually makes its way back to the song proper to bring it back to Earth. The ending is abrupt.
Monday Morning Eyes
Mellow motifs lead this one off and then a funky sort of wahing guitar joins as it builds up. While this cut still has plenty of changes and alterations it seems less dynamic than the previous one and remains in more melodic and often times mellower territory. It’s also a lot shorter, weighing in at about 5 minutes in length; it’s about half as long.
Black And White
A killer hard rock riff leads this off and the band launch out from there. They drop it down to a mellower sound after this short introduction, though, and then build back up from there. This one has more experimentation and alterations than the previous one – but with that title wouldn’t you really expect it. The dynamic range is fairly wide and at times they give us some frantic neo-classically based hard rock. At over twelve minutes in length this is a massive cut and for my money it has not only some of the best music on the disc, but some of the best the band ever created. I’d recommend this epic number over pretty much anything else they ever did. We get some layers of vocals sections and even some banjo on this. As they build it up from there we get some segments that are Yes-like but others that are perhaps closer to the type of music we’re used to hearing from Emerson Lake and Palmer.
Stop That Banging
This is a short (and rather playful) percussion solo.
There No More
Another ten minute plus epic the off-kilter riff that starts this off is simply awesome. From there they move out into a more traditional hard rock sound, but there’s still plenty of prog elements to that and it doesn’t last long as they keep changing things up. It drops down to mellow territory eventually for the first vocals and builds gradually from there. They take this out into something that’s very King Crimson-like later and it has some RIO like elements to it. For my money it’s a bit too freeform and random and kind of looses me. Still, they bring it back out with a Yes-like vocal build up and we’re back into tasty territory from there as it continues climbing. It is another that ends abruptly.
 
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