Chapter Two: Konstellation Neu
The British Expeditionary Force have created, in their new album Chapter Two: Konstellation Neu, an album of parochially English prog. Not so much an album of individual songs but one of mood pieces, recalling Caravan and Procol Harum as much as they recall Pink Floyd and Gabriel era Genesis with touches of Yes thrown in. It's not original, but it is effective, with flowing instrumentation building up, in some places (in particular on "Crack in the Clouds"), to an almost trance-type dance beat creating a dream-like atmosphere. Given that, this isn't a record to focus on, this is a record to put on in the background, lie back and drift off, although that may give you slightly odd dreams. "Strange Aftertaste", in that vein, has an Orb-like quality to it, and “Pleasantly Confused” builds up layers of instrumentation, creating an expansive sound that kind of inhabits the space as you listen. Singer Aid Burrows sums this up nicely: "This one is a slight extension on the diagnosis of one of my Nan’s slip into Alzheimer’s, it was written down on a little piece of paper from the psychological evaluation". It is the sound of a woozy mind slipping in and out of consciousness and reality. The general background layer of sound is augmented by bursts of electronica, slightly jarring guitars and a vocal layer, like an ECG graph, near to flat lining, but with bursts of activity. The whole record feels like a pharmaceutically induced hangover dream in an old English churchyard and is charming but not captivating, slightly overreaching itself but not lacking in ambition, capturing the confusion of an Alzheimer’s mind, but not entirely succeeding in the aural and sonic landscape they were aiming for. It would, however, like many of its influences, make the perfect soundtrack to a lysergic trip. There is the sense of something greater yet to come.