Picture of RPWL

Trying To Kiss The Sun

RPWL - Trying To Kiss The Sun ©2002 InsideOut Music
1. Trying To Kiss The Sun
2. Waiting For A Smile
3. I Don't Know (what It's Like)
4. Sugar For The Ape
5. Side By Side
6. You
7. Tell Me Why
8. Believe Me
9. Sunday Morning
10. Home Again

RPWL, a German band that initially started out as a Pink Floyd cover band, falls into the category of Talented Rock Musicians Who Strive To Imitate Others. On this hour long CD, RPWL goes out of their way to push forth their version of 70s prog rock, with heavy emphasis on Genesis' post-Gabriel, but pre-pop era with Kansas mixed into things. However, what RPWL appears to be allergic is establishing an identity beyond that of their influences. Much of Trying to Kiss the Sun is the sound of a band trying to mirror their favorite artists. Sure, the songs are impeccable in execution and construction to recreate the sound of the 70s, but it's hardly enough to get excited about. This is the sort of music that can become quite tolerable and even mildy pleasant background music, since this band strives to be unobtrustive. However, it is instantly forgettable and faceless.

I can't fault RPWL for lack of talent, but I certainly can point out a lack of ambition.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 10/2003

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RPWL - Stock ©2003 InsideOut Music
1. Opel
2. The Way It Is
3. Perceptual Response
4. Forgive Me / Part 1
5. Gentle Art Of Swimming
6. Who Do You Think You Are
7. Going Outside
8. Sun In The Sky
9. Forgive Me / Part 2
10. Forgive Me / Part 3

It should come to no surprise that a group that began as a Pink Floyd cover band has an overwhelming tendency to remind listeners of Pink Floyd on Stock, the German outfit's third album. On a whole, RPWL doesn't sound precisely like Pink Floyd, but they mix enough of that band as well others from the era into a big stew that essentially gives a modern perspective on decades old music. But by embracing the sounds of their influences and not necessarily looking to create their own piece of the action, the band with the cumbersome acronymn of RPWL may lose the attention of the more discriminate listening audience.

Stock's overall sound is a mix between the latter day Pink Floyd (if nothing else, the closest Floyd release to it is A Momentary Lapse of Reason) and mid 70s Genesis, with an occasional Beatles nod. The keyboards on more than one occasion sound as though Tony Banks did a little tutoring in Germany. The songs all contain niceness. There are nice melodies, nice arrangements and nice techinical execution. In fact, if this band were to be any more nice, they'd be nominated for some children's award that acknowledges nice people who do gosh-darn nice things. Stock is somewhat predictable, which causes a bit of a dropoff for attention towards the latter half of the album. Some might call this the Porcupine Tree effect of including more dreamy, neo-ambient passages that serve to lull listeners into la-la land.

I find Stock to be actually a little above average. They're very obviously happy to be playing music profoundly and thoroughly influenced by their favorite artists, but they are able to craft them well enough to escape being mere clones. Granted, this is a very mellow, unchallenging album that won't exactly cause spontaneous bedroom trashings. However, for fans of mid 90s Porcupine Tree or those who just can't get enough of dressed up AOR rock, Stock is quite the bull market.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 09/2003

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