Album Title: 'The Afterlife'
Label: 'Schoolkids Records'
Release date: February 2019
'Noctorum' is the latest offering from the very experienced band hopping talent that is Marty Willson-Piper and his writing partner and longtime friend Dare.
'The Moon Drips' is a gentle caress of Hammer Horror without the vampires. This track is a baroscopic tune with trumpet breaks that conjures up an atmosphere of unspecified fear and is the best track on the album.
'Piccadilly Circus in the Rain' is my second personal favourite track from this collection as it is a song about the dream-crushing nature of surviving and working in London, and is a stunningly accurate account of most people's true experience of London living, which eventually becomes more about survival than enjoyment both financially and mentally. This particular track portrays a great depiction of the tug of war inside the human spirit and tells the unspoken truth that 'London brings you to your knees' and is a far cry from the individual's original hazy dream of creativity or as Marty Willson-Piper puts it:
'You are so focused on the job of survival that your aspirations, your dreams, are swept aside, pushed out of reach as all your waking hours are spent treading water, your imagination drowning, your ideas lost in the rush hour'
'High tide low tide' is a track about Bipolar disorder inspired by Dare's work in therapy which depicts a disorder which now has a great deal of coverage in the media. However, this track doesn't jump on the mental health 'trend' bandwagon but instead is a thoughtful and sensitive take on a much-covered subject.
There are some daring themes in this album... subjects range from terrorism to mental health and 'Noctorum' has a fresh sound that defies the extensive experience of Marty Willson-Piper. At my last count, he had been involved with ten different bands including Australian psychedelic rock band 'The Church', Swedish progressive rock band 'Anekdoten' and most famously the guitarist for 'All About Eve'
This album has a natural and direct style that pulls the listener into a down to earth narrative on complex issues.