The Tangent - The Slow Rust Of Forgotten Machinery album review

World set to rights via the medium of prog

Cover art for The Tangent - The Slow Rust Of Forgotten Machinery album

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With their conscientious commentary on the struggles of refugees, the building of walls and the bile of the Daily Mail, this is a politico-prog album in the vein of Roger Waters’ work – only with tunes.

The Tangent’s ninth sees Andy Tillison driving five lengthy, labyrinthine pieces with help from prog staples like Luke Machin, Jonas Reingold and Theo Travis. Its intricacies never bore: like Caravan or Robert Wyatt, it knows musicianship should never stifle mood.

As a state-of-the-planet rant, it’s sophisticated and spot-on. A Few Steps Down The Wrong Road includes a monologue about a fallen empire over a fat jazz groove, while the 23-minute title track pleads for more empathy – less media fixation on trivia and better wages for nurses – while digressing into sections that echo Rush or Genesis. Telling England how to be more sound.

Chris Roberts has written about music, films, and art for innumerable outlets. His new book The Velvet Underground is out April 4. He has also published books on Lou Reed, Elton John, the Gothic arts, Talk Talk, Kate Moss, Scarlett Johansson, Abba, Tom Jones and others. Among his interviewees over the years have been David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Bryan Ferry, Al Green, Tom Waits & Lou Reed. Born in North Wales, he lives in London.