For Polish fans it is two years ago that Riverside released their stunning debut album. Internationally their album was released almost a year later. To make up for the fact that the in between album gap is bigger for the Polish fans a (mini)-album has been released for Poland only. There are of course ways for international fans to get hold of this album and that is why a review is written here.
Their debut earned them the title best newcomer in the DPRP poll for 2004, and on top of that the album received enough votes to place it in our top 10. So many are probably hoping their second album will match the quality of the first. If this mini album is any indication of what is to come we are in for another surprise. The tracks on this mini album are a bit different: more spherical and mellow.
The band announced their next full album to be more heavy, but this mini album is more in the vein of late Marillion/Porcupine Tree. The acoustic guitar, keyboards and vocals of Us give it a very sober atmosphere. In Acronym Love Piotr Grudzińsk's guitar takes another leading role but not by being speedy and complex but by placing the right notes at the right time filling the song with emotion. Of course the other band members also put in their thing, and everything is just right in this track. Dna ts. Rednum or F. Raf is a bit dreamy, Marillion's Marbles might be used for reference. It is easier to describe The Time I Was Daydreaming, just imagine what a song with this title would sound like, than you have a very good idea. An acoustic guitar with a floating synthesizer and electric guitar sound next it. Stuck Between has the same feel but a more forward rhythm, (by a drum computer), and is one of the better tracks of the album.
The three live tracks are of course taken from Out Of Myself and show that Riverside can add an extra dimension to the studio tracks if played on stage. The sound quality is perfect while the live feel remains.
Although this album only has five new tracks it is quickly becoming a collector's item. At the moment is was released it was hard to predict what the tracks of the next album would sound like. Riverside have been saying that Second Life Syndrome would be a bit heavier and indeed it is. This album shows Out Of Myself was not just a lucky shot. For all not from Poland: there should be ways to obtain this album and although it is not easy it is certainly worth trying. Becoming a Riverside fan club member or buying it at a concert are two ways that work.