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FLASH Flash Esoteric (2010)


Two albums in and musical differences within the camp of Yes meant 'No' for co-founder Peter Banks, who successfully overcame ejection by forging this top notch if often under-recognised four-piece.

The aptly-named Flash's 1971's self-titled debut is a well-balanced set of tight, melodic and prog rock: convoluted without being self-indulgent. Banks' demonstrative and fluid guitar runs sparkle across opener 'Small Beginnings' and ‘Roundabout' - like ‘Children of the Universe', while the fireworks of kitchen-sink big number 'Dreams of Heaven' are sweetly counterbalanced by the gentle acousticity of pastoral folky 'Morning Haze'.

Former Yes keyboardist Tony Kaye guesting on swathing Hammond and squelchy ARP synth cranks up the quality levels further and lends this huge period appeal for not only for fans of his and Banks' old band but for all lovers of rock that is showy and shoegazer-free.

"Our songs were long and our trousers were tight," recalls Banks by way of metaphorising the times in his booklet notes, but this is no apology nor is one needed. Flash burst into life in the heyday of progressive rock and set this well above the bar.


Review by Peter Muir

Peter Muir presents "Progressive Rock Fusion" on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sunday 19:00, Monday 19:00

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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