Review: Habu ­- 'Infinite'

Habu are a three-piece band hailing from Ipswich consisting of Alex Brody (Bass, Vocals and Keyboards), Andy Clarke (Guitar and Vocals) and Alex Dunbar (Drums), formed in 2012 and “Infinite” is the self-released follow up to their debut album “To The Stars” which was released in 2014. (Here is an interesting and useless fact I like to share, “Habu” is a Japanese word used to refer to certain venomous snakes). Habu define themselves as a progressive rock band. Now, people tend to shudder when a band announces that they play Prog and think of the 1970’s, where bands weren’t prog unless they played 25 minute long songs, 20 minutes of which was the keyboard solo! Thankfully, this isn’t the case here. Most of the songs average around the five minutes mark, but still contain their fair share of ‘prog’ essence. It’s quite clear that the band are influenced by the legendary Pink Floyd, Rush, and Thin Lizzy, as well as more modern acts like Porcupine Tree, and Steven Wilson, yet Habu have their own style shining through. What is interesting, is the impact these Suffolk lads have made already in the music scene. They’ve had the honour of opening for internationally established acts like Uli John Roth and Deborah Bonham, and shared the same stage as Magnum and Arthur Brown, so does “Infinite” live up to the expectation? Simply put, yes it does… from start to finish. It’s an absolute joy to listen to, right rom the opening track “Truth And Illusion”. It starts off with a keyboard (don’t worry, it’s only 20 seconds), and then the guitar and drums kick in. This is when you realise that this isn’t your usual prog fare, it’s completely different. The stand out tracks for me are “Dead Weight”, with it’s impressive guitar solo, “Heavy Chains” and it’s Thin Lizzy feel (I am sure Phil Lynott would have loved to have written this tune), and the opening guitar riffs to “Measure Of A Man” which sounds so familiar. I’m not saying Habu are nicking notes from another band, but just listen to it, and then you will get the same “ I know that from somewhere” feeling. The guitar solo at the end is utterly brilliant. “This Isn’t Where We Came In” is played with such tenderness, I am gutted that it only lasted just under 2 minutes. I feel that it could have been longer, but maybe if it gets played live, it could be longer, like Gary Moore would have done. The moment where I had the full-on Floyd feeling was “Grain By Grain”, it’s such a soulful track. Again, the guitar solo is simply breathtaking. I turned it up to 11, and it still needed to be played louder!
Then we get to the last song and title track, “Infinite”. It is simply an incredible eight minute virtuoso musical journey… prog at it’s finest. You get a keyboard section (stop shuddering at the back there), guitar solos and true ‘prog’ drumming. “Infinite” is definitely a worthwhile purchase. It’s also perfect in-car music. It passes the time, whether you’re cruising down an open highway, or stuck in gridlock . This album will take your mind off the tediousness of your journey. It was a pure pleasure to review “Infinite”, and Habu are definitely ones to watch out for the future. You can purchase your copy of the album here.   Review: Craig Travers

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