Before the band was set up there was Gold Frankincense & Disk Drive, Jonathan Barrett played in this band (he played also with Guy Manning before). Later GF&DD only consisted of Andy Tillison Diskdrive (vocals, keyboards, guitars, drums) and Guy Manning (guitars, keyboards, backing vocals).
Po90 was officially named 1996 by Andy Tillison Diskdrive and Sam Baine. This keyboards based duo created 2 albums, the first (instrumental) was recorded live and called Sanctum/Acoustic Lens, and the first vocal album was hard on its heels........ The Corner of My Room was recorded also in 1996, but took a back seat in the release stakes when the band extended into the five piece unit it now has become. The album Afterlifecycle (1997) was the band's first CD release on the Cyclops label and featured the new expanded lineup.

The Time Capsule was there next album and was well reviewed, they toured and did some gigs with Jadis, Flower Kings and Wisborne Ash.

Sam Baine - piano, synths, electronic and acoustic guitars,
Andy Tillison-Diskdrive - organ, synths, lead vocals, nylon string guitar,
Jonathan Barrett - bass guitars and plectra, backing vocals,
Lee Duncan - drums, he died tragically in August 2002,
Gareth Harwood - electric guitars, lead vocals, backing vocals,
Guesting: Guy Manning - guitars and backing vocals

On 7th September 1996, Andy, Sam, Guy and a computer for all the sound-effects and drums draged an mellotron into the garden and other stuff and played The Darkside of the Moon, aka The Great Gig In The Garden, watched by kids and the police, all done in one take, only the clocks were dirtectly token from the original album. You can find this piece of fun on the album "More exotic ways to die", look below.

After that they did some covers from Peter Hammill and Van Der Graaf Generator: No More Travelling Chess (released in '99 but recorded at the begin of the 90-ies. Unbranded is from '00, and again very Spock's Beardish and like Flower Kings, with a guest appereance of Martin Orford from IQ. But remember PO90 was making this style of music before them and with a bit more soul.

Sam Baine - keyboards,
Andy Tillison - vocals, keyboards,
Alex King - bass,
Ken Senior - drums,
Gareth Harwood - guitars & Martin Orford from IQ.


More Exotic Ways to Die release date July 2002.

Parallel or 90 Degrees band leader Andy Tillison Diskdrive comments on the new album:

Welcome to the new sound of Po90. In response to Po90 enthusiasts desire to have a more "live" sounding album... Po90 have ditched traditional studio recording and opted to record the album in a remote farmhouse in North Yorkshire. As well as this, some of the material was recorded "live onstage", and all the material has been stirred into a delicious hybrid in the months since the original recording. So what we have here is not a live album, not a studio album, but something that has the advantages of both........
"M.E.W.T.D" is an energetic and intense album which further pushes Po90 into new territories... proving them once again to be one of the few so-called "progressive" bands who actually do progress. A shorter, more immediate set of songs this time.. yet the depth of the music is still as great as ever. A co-written album for the first time, group compositions and contributions from the bands most recent member Dan Watts have "shaken up the bag" quite a lot... new sounds, new styles proliferate this album. Worry not though... this is quite definitely an immediately recognizable po90 album.

The first 7 pieces on the album are thematically linked..." the MEWTD sequence" if you like. 7 separate tracks that tell a simple story of middle aged frustrations and the entrapment of youth. The tracks range from the rowdy grinding of "The Heavy Metal Guillotine Approach" to the fragile melancholy of "Embalmed in Acid". The guitar plays a very large role throughout this album.. particularly in the actual construction of the songs. As usual though, keyboards swirl around the proceedings, and you can be sure that not all Po90s keyboards will be soft string synthesisers!!

2 standalone tracks finish the album off, the first "The Dream" being a Dan Watts nightmare vision that sounds like a kind of weird cross between a 60s spy movie soundtrack and Death metal, and "Petroleum Addicts" an already popular live number... a veritable classic slab of Po90 riffing, change and dynamic shifts. But all is not yet done...

Thanks to 'Andy'.

With its 48 minutes, the album is quite short, but it has a multimedia section which adds about TWO HOURS of extra music (mostly mp3 files). What you get here is in fact three complete albums:
- a PO90 compilation album, Enjoy Your Own Smell;
- the album Running Rings, recorded by a pre-PO90 line-up in 1989;
- a re-recording of Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon album, played by PO90 in 1996.
Also some more stuff is included, like a video track (Migraine) and some songs from the This is not the End of the World album (by the pre-PO90 lineup). I won't go into a detailed evaluation of the multimedia section, but I must say this is extremely good value for money!


Po90 Members Past & Present:

Lee Duncan - Drums 1997-1999, he died tragically in August 2002,
Jonathan Barrett - Bass 1997-1999,
Graham Young - Guitar 1997-1999,
Gareth Harwood - Guitar 1998 - 2000,
Ken Senior - Bass 1999 - The Present,
Alex King - Drums 1999 - The Present,
Dan Watts - Guitar 2000 - The present,
Andy-Tillison - Diskdrive - Keyboards and Vocals 1996 - The present
Sam Baine - keyboards 1996 - The present
Guy Manning - Guitars pre 1996 & frequent collaborator.

Andy Tillison-Diskdrive is now working on his first Solo album. Although collaborations are likely (Manning's bound to get in there somewhere, and Roine Stolt of the Flower Kings, and David Jackson, the erstwhile VDGG saxophonist are "on board"), much of the instrumentation will be provided by Andy, and the album is definitely PROG. Album is expected after the summer of 2002!

Related artists:
Andy Tillison plays on the albums of Guy Manning.
Ken Senior is also known under the name Evolution of which I happen to have reviewed The First Signs Of Life.
Ken also features on two Mellow Records Tributes: The River Of Constant Change, a tribute to Genesis and The Harbour Of Joy, a tribute to Camel.

THE TANGENT PROJECT CD ("The Music That Died Alone..") featuring Andy & Sam from Po90, Guy Manning, and David Jackson from Van Der Graaf Generator), plus Roine, Zoltan and Jonas of the Flower Kings. A great Album!


A Can Of Worms ('08).
A double cd with "the Best of"and new material. A nice way to get into this band.


Please be so free and sign my guestbook.



Go and see http://www.dprp.vuurwerk.nl/ for more reviews. A GREAT site!
Thanks Jerry.

Parallel Or 90 Degrees - Unbranded
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Format: CD
Record Label: Cyclops
Catalogue #: CYCL 092
Year of Release: 2000
Time: 73:18
Info: PO90 website
Samples: MP3s
Tracklist: Gods Of Convenience (9:10), Migraine (8:19), Unbranded (8:37), Shoulder To Shoulder (11:26), Space Junk (10:39), An Autopsy In Artificial Light (I. Simmer, II. Artificial Light, III. Sitting Duck On A Carpark Floor, IV. Gears, Dandelions & Total Darkness, V. Afterlife Wot? (Part 3), VI. The Five O' Clock Rush) (25:05)

It's been a long time since I heard anything by PO90. I remember I liked the first album when I heard it. They sounded very new, very fresh in a world where not much really happened. Maybe I should have heard it a couple more times to really make up my mind, but you just can't do that with everything you hear. I hope this lack of knowledge on the band's progression doesn't limit me in giving you my opinion about this album.

When I put on this new CD, it reminded me of what I still remember from that first album. But what I now noticed, is that since then, more bands have begun to play like this. I had to think of Spock's Beard and Flower Kings right away - the way of making songs of both, and the sound of the first. The way they use a Hammond organ and the way Tillison lets his heart cry out, make me think of Van Der Graaf Generator as well.
It's ambiguous. There are bits and pieces that I do like (and some I do like a lot). I like VDGG, so you know what parts I like. Other bits I don't like at all. These remind me of Spock's Beard and Flower Kings, which I personally don't like at all.

In the second part of Migraine, they remind me, for example, of VDGG's Killer. It's not only the heavier bits - also the title track has got very good moments. But songs like Gods Of Convenience sound like there's been too much thinking. And that's precisely what I think is missing in the music of Spock's Beard: the blues, the sadness, the agression, the happiness - the real emotion. Very well crafted, but not enough soul. I must admit that I like PO90 a lot better than Spock's Beard. Simply because there is more soul.

Space Junk was a nice surprise. Let's put a bit of Hawkwind here, they must have thought. Marvellous intro! Great contrast between heavy and softer pieces here. This could be be the modern VDGG! When piano playing and singing are warm and emotional, or when things get really heavy or intense - that's when I really like it. But when there's too much thought behind it, too much "let's do this and then that", I lose interest. And the mix of those two feelings makes this a very hard album to review.

Track 6 wasn't supposed to be on the album, or so I am told. Cyclops reportedly persuaded Tillison to include it after all, so here it is. Don't know why he didn't want to have it here, since it fits in very well. As accounts for some other tracks, it's way too long for me. I like some long songs, but this patchwork is not my cup of tea.

I like Andy's lyric writing. I share his wanting to let people think instead of follow others, think instead of losing yourself in religion. A long long time ago, I wrote a lyric about alcohol, written from the perspective of the drink itself. I had to think of that when reading the lyrics to Migraine - written about a person suffering from them, from the perspective of the migraine. Can result in original stuff, but I didn't think this lyrics was very successful. Shoulder To Shoulder is better, although I think Tillison is going from "observing" to "telling" or "teaching" a bit easily. But the great thing is that the lyrics are not pretentious. And the way he can write lyrics and vocal lines is impressive. In a song like Shoulder To Shoulder it's clear he loves Hammill a lot, and has listened to Hammill a lot. Not copying Hammill's way of writing (how can one ever?), but using the same level of freedom in writing.

I know there are a lot of PO90 fans out there. If you know the band well, this is probably obligatory stuff (although I can't really compare it to their other albums, because I don't know them), if you don't have it yet. To try out PO90, I can't tell for sure that this is the best album to start with. Well written, well played, so at least check it out. Definitely good moments, some very, very good moments, alternated with parts that don't make me close my eyes and feel the music.

Conclusion: 7 out of 10.

Jerry van Kooten

Go and see http://www.dprp.vuurwerk.nl/ for more reviews. A GREAT site!




Updated Feb 2009 by Nick.
Shine On!