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Presto Ballet
Peace Among the Ruins
June 2005
Released: 2005, Insideout
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Rick

Fans of 70s rock and metal LISTEN UP! Metal Church mastermind Kurt Vanderhoof is here to take you on a trip through the decade that he says had the “most skilled bands, with the best songs and the best ideas”. You might never have known he thought this way while listening to Metal Church scream through pummelling tracks like “Ton Of Bricks” and “Start the Fire” but one listen to his new outfit Presto Ballet will leave the listener thinking he somehow stepped into a time warp and was magically transported back to the time of bell bottoms and gas guzzling muscle cars.

Not only has the band embraced the sound of such 70s bands as Yes, Genesis, Styx, Kansas and Uriah Heep, they have recorded the album using analog technology. Yes, you heard it right. In the 21st century a band has gone back to using analog tape recorders, 2 inch tape, analog Moogs and Chamberlains and NO PRO TOOLS. There was no cut and pasting of drum parts etc. Everything was recorded live. The final product is all the better for Vanderhoof’s need to record organically as possible. The sound is lush and warm and much more inviting than many of today’s clean and sterile productions. “Peace Among the Ruins” opens the disc with a straight ahead organ infused rock track that immediately creates that warm organic atmosphere that Vanderhoof worked so hard to obtain. “Sun Shine” brings to mind latter day Beatles with a slight psychedelic tinge while “Slave” is one of the more straight ahead stripped down rockers on the disc. Well as stripped down as it gets with analog organ and synthesizer making its mark all over the record. The disc ends almost too abruptly with “Bringin It On”. Not only is the music in the 70s vein but the band has also gone for the basic 70s “8 song” album. Not enough music from a great new band.

Joining Vanderhoof in Presto Ballet is Scott Albright: lead vocals and acoustic guitar, Brian Cokely: piano, Hammond Organ, synths and lead vocals, Brian Lake; bass and Jeff Wade: drums. For years people have been trying to recreate the 70s. Not only in music but in fashion, on tv and inn movies. Many times these projects are hit and miss but Presto Ballet has hit the nail straight on the head. Presto Ballet not only has captured the “70s sound” better than most bands I have heard but they have the material to back up their flash back to the past!
Track Listing



Scott Albright: lead vocals and acoustic guitar
Brian Cokely: piano, Hammond Organ, synths and lead vocals
Brian Lake: bass
Jeff Wade: drums
Kurt Vanderhoof: guitars

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