Rating:
7.8
Riverside - Memories In My Head [EP]
10 June 2011


01. Goodbye Sweet Innocence
02. Living In The Past
03. Forgotten Land


Riverside really blew me away with their last album Anno Domini High Definition, and after two years of checking out their back catalogue and attending one little show, I have become a fan of the band. I believe that Riverside are one of the best prog bands around, and my expectations for this EP were pretty high, and I was also waiting for something in the vein of ADHD.

Partly because of those expectations, I was deeply disappointed with Memories In My Head when I listened to it for the first couple of times. The three ten-minute songs sounded overstretched and boring due to the same slow tempo, samey guitar solos in the style of Piotr Grudzinski, and just seemingly unimpressive songwriting. After giving this EP more proper listens in the right mood, my ears and mind received a different image. The mood, or at least a correct expectation, plays an important role in perceiving and even enjoying this deeply melancholic prog release. Memories In My Head is still far from perfection, but the Polish masters, as usual, have managed to write something that screams quality prog rock and, while sounding very Riversidey, testifies to the band's continuing desire to develop and experiment.

The melancholic signature sound, which has been present on all of Riverside's albums, is present here too, but with a larger focus on creating a moody, sad, and sometimes even psychedelic ambience on each song. The band seem to have decided to revisit the Reality Dream Trilogy and especially delve into brooding and desperate but also angry atmosphere through long, slowly developing songs, so there is certain resemblance to the longer songs on the first three albums. All these are done with the customary guitar subtlety, bass prominence and charismatic voice of Mariusz Duda. Overall, this is the Riverside we love: both sentimental and angry, convoluted and catchy, overwhelming and relaxing.

What prevents Memories In My Head from being really successful is, after all, the songwriting. There are definitely some great moments on all the songs, be it piercing leads, groovy bass, emotional build-ups, catchy vocal lines and transitions or those great dirty drawling keyboards, but there are some weak - one may call them boring - spots as well, like the first half of "Goodbye Sweet Innocence." Riverside is a band of great musicians, who know what teamwork is, but the problem is that they did not manage to bring up the characteristics mentioned at the end of the last paragraph with the passion and extremity that they did on the previous releases. Memories In My Head is quite good, but Riverside can do better.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 10


Band profile: Riverside
Album: Memories In My Head


 


written by K†ulu | 14.09.2011


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



Comments

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Milena - 14.09.2011 at 17:59  
Well thank god someone is writing reviews besides the staff here nice review dude, keep up the good work! This EP hasn't made a lasting impression on me... but rare are the ones that do anyway
K†ulu - 14.09.2011 at 18:02  
Written by Milena on 14.09.2011 at 17:59

Well thank god someone is writing reviews besides the staff here nice review dude, keep up the good work! This EP hasn't made a lasting impression on me... but rare are the ones that do anyway

thank you! it's always nice to hear something good about one's writing.
Milena - 14.09.2011 at 18:05  
Written by K†ulu on 14.09.2011 at 18:02

Written by Milena on 14.09.2011 at 17:59

Well thank god someone is writing reviews besides the staff here nice review dude, keep up the good work! This EP hasn't made a lasting impression on me... but rare are the ones that do anyway

thank you! it's always nice to hear something good about one's writing.

To be specific about why it's good: it informs us of your background with the band, but not in great detail, it elaborates all sides of the sound and settings and all in precise and not pompous words. So, keep developing that and you'll be well off
BloodTears - 14.09.2011 at 18:23  
Probably about the right rating for this EP.

My expectations were not huge because it was an EP and because the band said it would be more of a retrospective.

In that sense, this is just a good way to spend some time listening to some new Riverside songs until they release their new album. It's not a tragedy for me that I didn't find it that enjoyable as some of their other releases.
K†ulu - 14.09.2011 at 19:29  
Written by Milena on 14.09.2011 at 18:05

Written by K†ulu on 14.09.2011 at 18:02

Written by Milena on 14.09.2011 at 17:59

Well thank god someone is writing reviews besides the staff here nice review dude, keep up the good work! This EP hasn't made a lasting impression on me... but rare are the ones that do anyway

thank you! it's always nice to hear something good about one's writing.

To be specific about why it's good: it informs us of your background with the band, but not in great detail, it elaborates all sides of the sound and settings and all in precise and not pompous words. So, keep developing that and you'll be well off

I like feedback, and pompous words are not my style, or maybe I have not reviewed anything needing pompous words.
DrM - 15.09.2011 at 00:29  
I do enjoy this album quite a lot, it's constantly coming back to my playlist at least twice a week, which I never do under regular circumstances. However, after reading your review (which is superbly written by the way) I did notice something I haven't noticed previously.

This piece is, as stated by the band themselves, a throwback to the Reality Dream trilogy, specifically to Out of Myself. And although the musicianship is top notch, as always is the case with Riverside, the lyrics are as you said - lacking, and quite significantly so. And I didn't notice that since, well, it takes time until I sit and "process" the lyrics. I'm more into the music. It's not "All Gods Are Gone" bad (by Appearance Of Nothing), not even close. It's just not on par with their previous work.

And I have to disagree on the dragging bit - for me it doesn't drag at all. But then again, I'm also really into Psychedelic stuff (Pink Floyd included, of course), so I guess its just a matter of personal taste.

I quite enjoy reading your reviews, keep 'em coming
K†ulu - 15.09.2011 at 15:18  
Written by DrM on 15.09.2011 at 00:29

I do enjoy this album quite a lot, it's constantly coming back to my playlist at least twice a week, which I never do under regular circumstances. However, after reading your review (which is superbly written by the way) I did notice something I haven't noticed previously.

This piece is, as stated by the band themselves, a throwback to the Reality Dream trilogy, specifically to Out of Myself. And although the musicianship is top notch, as always is the case with Riverside, the lyrics are as you said - lacking, and quite significantly so. And I didn't notice that since, well, it takes time until I sit and "process" the lyrics. I'm more into the music. It's not "All Gods Are Gone" bad (by Appearance Of Nothing), not even close. It's just not on par with their previous work.

And I have to disagree on the dragging bit - for me it doesn't drag at all. But then again, I'm also really into Psychedelic stuff (Pink Floyd included, of course), so I guess its just a matter of personal taste.

I quite enjoy reading your reviews, keep 'em coming

Hmm, I did not say anything about the lyrics and I also never said the music was dragging. I enjoy the psychedelic stuff as well although I do not know a lot of good bands beside Pink Floyd and Oranssi Pazuzu + Mastodon's latest, so if you can actually recommend something, I would appreciate it.

And one more thing, in what interview did the Riverside say they would revisit Out of Myself on this EP?
DrM - 15.09.2011 at 23:54  
Written by K†ulu on 15.09.2011 at 15:18

Hmm, I did not say anything about the lyrics and I also never said the music was dragging. I enjoy the psychedelic stuff as well although I do not know a lot of good bands beside Pink Floyd and Oranssi Pazuzu + Mastodon's latest, so if you can actually recommend something, I would appreciate it.

And one more thing, in what interview did the Riverside say they would revisit Out of Myself on this EP?


I must've misinterpreted some bits of your last paragraph: "What prevents Memories In My Head from being really successful is, after all, the songwriting" and "...but there are some weak - one may call them boring - spots as well."

You should check out Amplifier's latest album (The Octopus), takes a while to sink in but it's definitely worth it.

They mentioned that in a post on their official website (http://www.riversideband.pl/en/news/518-qmemories-in-my-headq-the-new-riverside-release):
Quote:

Mariusz Duda: This new material, concerning (for obvious reasons) the themes of the passing time, will be a pleasant surprise for those who have missed the specific kind of melodies and space known from the bands early releases. We have consciously gone back to our beginnings to create a certain kind of a circle.
tea[m]ster - 17.09.2011 at 19:27  
Nice job Ktulu! I am a HUGE Riverside fan; Like with all of their previous releases, you cannot judge this little album with one or two listens. Please give it your undivided attention for at least 5 spins and each time you will discover another prog-element nugget!
Introspekrieg - 30.10.2011 at 20:15  
I think I finally love this album... I too couldn't get into it at first completely. Coming back to it now though, wow. Great review as usual, Ktulu.
K†ulu - 30.10.2011 at 23:00  
Written by Introspekrieg on 30.10.2011 at 20:15

I think I finally love this album... I too couldn't get into it at first completely. Coming back to it now though, wow. Great review as usual, Ktulu.

thank you, intro. So honored to hear that!
Enoch - 20.02.2012 at 05:39  
Great album!

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