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Music Review: Not The Weapon But The Hand

Paul Kalis

Solo artists Steve Hogarth (of Marillion) and Richard Barbieri (of Porcupine Tree, ex-Japan) have teamed up to record a new experimental rock release out this week from Kscope Music.

In 1989, Hogarth joined and soon became the frontman of Marillion, an English rock band that released 20 U.K. Top 40 hits and 15 studio albums over 25 years. Since 1993, Barbieri has been playing the keyboard on all of the Porcupine Tree’s albums. He was a member of Japan, where he helped to create the band’s synthesizer sound, which influenced many artists, including The Human League, Duran Duran, Gary Numan, Talk Talk, Kate Bush, and Hogarth.

Through the years, Porcupine Tree and Marillion played shows together, allowing Hogarth and Barbieri to develop a working relationship, which lead to this collaboration. In 2011, their schedules allowed for a week here and there to do so. Barbieri sent Hogarth “a number of beautiful and unusual instrumentals, and I have found lyric ideas to create sometimes songs, sometimes narratives, against his musical landscapes.”

Their album includes songs such as “Naked”, “Your Beautiful Face”, and “Lifting The Lid”. My personal favorites are “Crack”, “Cat With Seven Souls”, and “Red Kite”. The melody of every track has a fantastic beat. It’s a bit different from the pop music we have become accustomed to, but it’s experimental. The music is very peaceful, relaxing, and soothing. I kept it running in the background while I was on the computer, and it made for a perfect experience. “Not The Weapon But The Hand” was released on February 28th and is available on CD and iTunes download.

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