Loonypark has long been one of my favorite Polish progressive rock bands, and one with an incredibly stable line-up. This 2016 release was their fourth album, and apart from the replacement of drummer Jakub Grzeslo after 2008’s debut, ‘Egoist’, it was the same as it was since the beginning namely singer Sabina Godula-Zając, Piotr Grodecki (guitar, double bass, banjo), Krzysztof Lepiarczyk (keyboards, programming, composer & arranger), Piotr Lipka (bass) and Grzegorz Fieber (drums). What we have here is extremely strong neo-prog, but the band refuses to sit still so while opener “Something To Forget” is bombastic with great guitar lines, hooks and simple but effective keyboards leads, the follow-up “Face In The Mirror” is far more laid-back. This even features violin from guest Sylwia ‘Maya’ Majka until Piotr decides to ensure everyone is still awake as he crunches through.

Arrangements aren’t overly complex, and although this is progressive, at the heart is a rock band which is being controlled by the keyboard player who is happy to rely on the piano as he is on other keyboards. Sabina has a warm rock voice that works well within the music as she sings in clear unaccented English. The result is a very approachable release, that contains some very strong moments indeed, although they do seem to be treading water at times when they slow it down. The band is definitely most in their element when they up the tempo, introduce more rock elements into their music, and there are times when they come across as a modern Simple Minds with guitar making inroads here and there as opposed to all the time. The use of banjo is surprisingly effective, as long as the intent is for the listener to smile when they hear it. Another solid album.

7/10 Kev Rowland


The complete title of this album is ‘In The World of Fantasy? … And Other rarities’. It was actually released prior to ‘In Search Of The Perfect Chord’, so the final epic song on that album features as the opening song on this collection, a taster for what was to come. Of course, reviewing this some four years later means that some of the impacts of that is rather lost. All of the other songs are either rare songs taken from singles, alternative versions, demos or unreleased songs. It goes all the way back to the band’s beginning in 2014, and then right up to date with an unrealized theme from the next album.

Normally with an album of this type, reviewers would say that this is a nice set for completists and those who are already fans of the band, and move smartly onwards and not bother listening to it.  But, what we have here is one of those rare instances of a rarities collection that is actually a bloody fine listen indeed. One of the real joys on this one is “Born In 67”, where keyboard player, bandleader and label boss Ryszard Kramarski provides lead vocals on the demo. Contrast that to the Beatles-like “The Prose Of Life” that follows it, and I can guarantee that any listener will be smiling (at least I was). I believe this CD was only released as a limited numbered edition, so I don’t know if it is still available, but all progheads should grab this if they come across it. These days, most progheads when they think of Poland always think Riverside, but in truth, there has been a great deal of wonderful bands out of that country in the last 20 years, and to my ears Millenium is right up there with the very best.

8/10 – Kev Rowland