KINO – Cutting Room Floor CD Review 2005

By Lorraine Kay

“Cutting Room Floor” was released by KINO to coincide with their December 2005 European tour. A limited edition CD, this CD is a compilation of the band’s earliest recordings, relatively previously unheard KINO demos which include Pete Trewavas singing lead vocals, plus live versions of songs from “Picture”, the band’s only studio CD to date. Another track that is a first and only release is KINO’s version of Kevin Gilbert’s “Parade”, which was recorded several years ago for a Kevin Gilbert tribute album, which was never released.

This is a “feel-good” album. Every track just leaves you feeling good. It is a perfect blend of excellent musicianship and friendly vocals.

The progressive rock foursome, collected from other successful UK bands, is John Mitchell of Urbane , Pete Trewavas of Marillion, John Beck of It Bites and Chris Maitland of Porcupine Tree. They are old friends to the progressive rock audience, so there is a familiarity in their music.

 Track by track review

1. People (live) This one is pretty much in-your-face rock and roll driven by strong vocals. It has some pretty extreme texture swings. According to Mitchell’s liner notes this song originally was much longer with lots of syncopated ride playing but they got rid of it because it was a little TOO over the top.

2. Throw It Away (demo) This one has a kind of Beatles feel to it due to the constant mellotron flutes. It starts with marching drums and a mellow acoustic guitar. According to Mitchell’s notes on this demo, “I just pulled up the drum loop and started strumming.”

3. Perfect Tense (live) This live recording has some nice haunting keyboards and full vocals and harmonies. Supposedly the last song written for the “Pictures” album, written in 6/4, it moves around giving the listener touches of Déjà vu, with little familiar twists here and there.

4. All You See (demo) This is a pretty ballad supported by some nice strings and a surprising dramatic break into the chorus. According to Mitchell, he actually wrote the chorus in the shower some years earlier. He calls this version the “kitchen sink version” because the band played every instrument they could get their hands on. Also, the later studio version has different lyrics.

5. Room For Two (live) This is a fun bouncy tune with lots of keys out front. If there was ever a video of this one you would expect a carnival in the background. This is also one of the first songs written by the band together

6. Won’t Fall Down (demo) This one stands out with multi-layered vocals bouncing off each other. There is a subtle touch of Beatle keys driving this track. Even Mitchell admits, “It’s pretty Beatles-y but that’s a good thing no?”

7. Picture (live) Originally written as an instrumental for a film sound track, the band added lyrics to it and then made it the title track for the album. A sensitive and moving ballad, John Beck is great on the piano on this one. Simple arpeggios weaving in and out support Mitchell’s soft vocals on this live performance.

8. Say You Will (demo) Another multi-textured track, this demo has undertones of another great UK prog-rock band, Yes. According to Mitchell, Trewavas actually played most of the guitars on this due to Mitchell having just had surgery on his hand. Mitchell played guitar lead and Rhodes piano, but not the stronger more demanding rhythm parts. At over 14 minutes long this song is not just multi-textured but it could almost be a couple of songs.

9. Parade (Kevin Gilbert cover) Straight ahead rock and roll, this song was originally recorded for a Kevin Gilbert tribute album that was never released. The original was just guitar and vocals, this one obviously has much more depth and texture to it. This one has a surprise at the end. The track says it is nine and a half minutes long, but it seems to end at two and a half minutes. But if you wait nearly two more minutes the song starts up again but this time there are no vocals for over five minutes.

To order a copy, go to www.kinoworld,com