arK – Wild Untamed Imaginings

arK – 2010 line-up (not in photo order) – Ant Short (vocals, flute), Peter Wheatley (guitar, backing vocals), Steve Harris (synth-guitar), John Jowitt (bass), Tim Churchman (drums)

The affectation of capitalizing the last letter of arK is new for the band for it’s 2010 reunion release Wild Untamed Imaginings, perhaps to distinguish themselves from the Norwegian prog metal band or the Swedish glam rock band with the same name (actually, the Swedish guys are The Ark). The story is that these old buddys, after having disbanded around 15 years ago, ran into each other in a pub. They got to talking (and, I assume, drinking), and decided they should get together again and re-record some of their old songs. They also managed to talk their most famous member, IQ/Jadis bassist John Jowitt, into rejoining for the fun. The new line-up also features drummer Tim Churchman (formerly of Darwin’s Radio) on drums. The web site also has photos taken by new IQ (and also formerly Darwin’s Radio) keyman Mark Westworth posted there. The land of British Neo-Prog is a small world, it seems.

Wild Untamed Imaginings is a slick album, released on the ProgRock Records label (the US one, not the UK one). I’d hardly call this prog rock, though. Arena Rock gives the right general impression, with longish songs that are keyboard-heavy anthems with proggy touches including up-front bass work, acoustic guitars, heavy keyboard sweetening, loads of overdubs, and head-banging, fist-pumping rock’n’roll compositions. Think Styx, Foreigner or even Asia and you’re in the right ballpark. Not bad for all that, just don’t expect … well … Wild Untamed Imaginings. Worth a listen for those who aren’t too snobby about their “prog”, and I’d say there’s certainly some enjoyment to be had in this reunion. — Fred Trafton

Click here for arK‘s web site
Click here for arK‘s MySpace page
Click here for arK‘s page on the ProgRock Records site, where you can also order Wild Untamed Imaginings


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