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Vinyl Floor | Peninsula

album review by John Powell

Vinyl Floor | Peninsula

The concept album Peninsula opens on an orchestrated instrumental, and right away Vinyl Floor channels Pink Floyd until the bridge, made up of heavy power chords, changes up the sound to something more live-tronica. Please don’t let this opener fool you. While an amazing song, “Frames and Orchids sounds nothing like the rest of the album. The trio ends up sounding a lot like Floyd, minus the bruised British fairytale quality, and the legendary status, of course.

The comparison comes more in the band’s execution of instrumentation, the guitar tones, the spacious drums, and the song construction, mixed with ethereal lyrics. The major difference in sound being Thomas Pederson, whose voice is more like David Byrne’s. Imagine that for minute. His voice simply doesn’t fit the music, although this ends up making Vinyl Floor very original sounding.

“Ghost of England” sets the stage for this tale. “From Colonization to The Beatles,” Tom sings. “The ghost of England slowly passed me by.” What’s to make of this strange and rocking song? Not sure.

Lyrically, Vinyl Floor is all over the place, and the suggested concept of the album isn’t readily apparent, although, themes persist, such as on “Car in the Sky”, which boasts, “We shall always roam free.” The album has an overall sense of travel and history, or working through your demons by seeing what others have done to grow up. If there’s more of a narrative, well, it’s not The Wall.

Instrumentally, Vinyl Floor excels, and so you’ll forget that you don’t really know what’s going on lyrically. “Diverging Paths” rocks without holding back. Daniel Pederson’s drumming is the band’s deadliest weapon, while the use of organ and strings adds many layers.

The finale, “Frozen Moon”, sounds like an Oasis ballad, building into fury with a catchy melody. This sendoff is oddly beautiful after an album of heavy guitars and layers of noise caked in 70’s style open chord grit, but they make it work well.

All in all, Peninsula’s flaws don’t outweigh its coolness. It’s rock music. It rocks. It’s got passion, and even when it falls short, there’s some good guitar playing just around the corner. Vinyl Floor just needs to hone their lyrics. Give us substance. It was this poetry that put Floyd into rock stardom. It’s what’s missing from this otherwise accessible album. Try it for yourself and let me know what you think.

Bottom line: A concept album with a lost concept, and an overall good sense of instrumentation and anthem brewing.


 

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