Today we are featuring a promising prog rock band, Gion Stump & The Lighthouse Project, from St.Gallen, Switzerland, with, "A Penny For The Fool", their latest studio album.
Gion Stump & The Lighthouse Project is one of those special collectives I discovered some time ago, that I believe got the potential to become one of the internationally respected names from their native town, St.Gallen, Switzerland. Although these Swiss gentlemen have debuted their careers with Fine Lines At Dawn, a long play studio album back in 2010, I've had the honor to know them with their last studio album, A Penny For The Fool, and instantly became a fan.
A Penny For The Fool is a musical wonder, a unique combination of different styles and vibes with advanced musicianship, solid personality, impressive sound design, and world-class production standards. The musical range in the album is vast, can get as electronic as Depeche Mode or as classic as 80s Pink Floyd, and confuse the listener. But the important thing is, that the album does it while maintaining the Gion Stump and The Lighthouse Project personality all throughout the album.
Songs can vary with their approach, instrumentation, or style sometimes, which made me think of a "Best Of" album structure. Even though I don't necessarily listen to electronic music, it was impossible to resist the beauty of "A Penny For The Fool" album sound every single time. Simply a fantastic listen from start to finish.
The music stands out with Gion Stump & The Lighthouse Project's band personality, even though we constantly hear familiar and nostalgic vibes in its origins. I can't remember how many times this album made me think of Queen, Brian May, Pink Floyd, Steven Wilson, and Depeche Mode, immediately fell in love after hearing it for the first time. The album, for me, is simply one of the most established sounding albums I listened to from the underground scene.
The band has an important figure as a frontman; amazing vocalist, composer, lyricist, and performer, Gion Stump. He is gifted with a smooth and characteristic voice, plays an irreplaceable role in the band.
Lastly, I personally loved the sound design, and the natural feeling in it. A Penny For The Fool deserves all the respect out there in this world for its timeless sound and production, one of the best sounding albums in its specific genre without a doubt. Gion Stump & The Lighthouse Project doesn't sound like an underground band, in fact, they set the bar quite high for themselves. I am sure, finding a way to make all these different styles work altogether would be a challenging task. The producer has done an incredible job and made this album "special" with his vision. Simply fantastic.
On the other side of the coin, there's almost no weakness in Gion Stump & The Lighthouse Project's case, except for minor issues that could be improved such the band image, visual library, music videos, live videos, etc.
Also, I started asking myself questions after listening to the entire album with my full attention, trying to figure out, defining its success. When I think of Gion Stump & The Lighthouse Project, I hear 80s prog rock with a modern sound by a talented collective. This is how they stayed in my memory, and unconsciously that's how I want to see them at the same time. What would be the meaning of "having all these rich influences in terms of style, in one project"?, whether we define it as a quality or not?
On the other hand, there's also "focusing on what's most special about Gion Stump & The Lighthouse Project" option, which might sound subjective. I believe they are a great band, but special with their 80s prog/psychedelic rock side with Queen and Pink Floyd influences.
Lastly, bands who start careers with a concept or theme, then try to get into the role both individually and collectively like Slipknot or Ghost did. In this case, Gion Stump & The Lighthouse Project is a perfect match with the 80s prog rock, they already have these influences in their DNAs.
When I take all these into account, I'd like to say that A Penny For The Fool is one of the most successful albums I listened to lately, earned our highest mark for many reasons. Strongly Recommended. Thanks for reading.
Gion Stump & The Lighthouse Project on the WEB
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