VARIOUS ARTISTS - Styx – A Gather Of Vanities

Various Artists - Styx – A Gather Of Vanities

10 songs
62:16 minutes
***** *
Handicap International

Former Suppers Ready vocalist Pol Feltes approached Handicap International to collaborate on a musical project to raise people’s awareness about the inhuman effects of cluster bombs, that not only kill during times of war (which is already bad enough), but which always leave a certain amount of unexploded remnants which later can kill even more people in times of peace. It’s no surprise that countries like the USA or Israel feel superior to general sensibilities and don’t give a damn about public opinion, but once you read that countries like Germany, France and even Switzerland produce those bombs, it’s time that especially our representatives in the European Union do something about it.

Although Pol Feltes is the main contributor to this album, he was helped by Serge Tonnar whose doing vocals on a couple of songs, and also Claudine Muno and Bernie Z's Astronoids contribute each one song. Ms Muno once again proves that she’s impeccable from a technical point of view, but her music still sounds as bland and stale as an old coffee advertisement. Bernie Z on the other side offers a long live song which is as timeless as it is good. A sad and suffering ballad which is clearly the highlight on the album. Serge Tonnar does some ok ballad stuff too, one song also live with Zap Zoo, but somehow he works better as the bitter satirist Legotrip whose not performing on this rather more serious affair. Pol Feltes, together with musical companion Andros Athanassiou, mostly play folk ballads, but at times act out in prog rock water, as on the title track and on the fourteen minute long Narcissus which is a remastered version of a song he recorded already back in 1990.

Styx – A Gather Of Vanities is neither a band album nor a real compilation, but rather an odds-and-ends collection of Pol Feltes related material, with some contribution from other old and greying scenesters, like Serge Tonnar, Bernie Z and Claudine Muno. It rarely hits my nerve, but still manages to be charming and quirky in its own retro way. If you have doubt about the quality, you still do something good by supporting this very worthwhile cause.

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