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Flash Featuring Ray Bennett & Colin Carter

Flash is a band that I’d never heard before, and probably for good reason, their birth was before my time and the band never really saw a huge introduction as a household name. Now, 40 years later, the band re-unites, minus original Flash member and founder Peter Banks (original Yes guitarist), offering a new comeback album, and for those like me, the opportunity to experience the band for the first time.

I’ve been here before, listening to an album from aged rockers still hanging on to their love of playing music. Sometimes the work is flawless and sometimes it’s a sure sign it’s time to hang up the gear and retire. The new Flash album is a difficult review for several reasons.

My first issue with the album is production quality. Right out of the gate the album sounds off, as if someone turned the bass nearly off. Drums sounds distant and weak, there’s no high bass output for the kick drum or toms. This approach gives way to a higher concentration on vocals and guitar.

Vocals work for the most part but you can tell that Colin Carter’s voice probably isn’t what it used to be. It’s frail at times and fails to reach those held notes that seem implied. You listen to enough progressive rock and you start to notice a lot of the players in that field are from the golden age of music. They have technique down and their emotional aptitude towards delivery of the lyrical is still intact, but they’re not the young men they once were. You simply have to give respect where respect is due and realize that what you’re hearing is an opportunity laid out before you to enjoy the music makers that existed before music began it’s death throes with pop music.

Guitar work is impressive, but with the production giving major focus to it, there is a lack of mesh between instruments that leaves every flawed note up to scrutiny. After listening to the album several times they began to stand out more and more. They’re not overpowering as far as the album’s run time is concerned, but they are unmistakable when they roll around.

Overall not a bad album, but production could have been better. I think if the album has more depth to it as far as sound across the board was concerned, the opportunity for every instrument to come together in unison and be heard, this review might have been far different. It is what it is though. As always, final judgment is yours.