Pure Reason Revolution is a British rock group formed at the University of Westminster in 2003. Their music incorporates elements of progressive rock (Rick Wakeman has given the band a favorable review) and grunge rock. It has been variously described as 'Astral Folk' and 'New prog'. Members have a shared appreciation for the work of bands such as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Porcupine Tree, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins and the Super Furry Animals.
Pure Reason Revolution began life as a Reading outfit named The Sunset Sound, which featured the Courtney brothers, Chloë Alper and, for a short while, Jim Dobson. Jon and Andrew Courtney had previously played with pop guitar band Gel, and, according to J. Courtney in an interview, were signed by Seymour Stein to his Sire record label although Sire records dropped the band and never released any material. Alper used to front the Period Pains, who scored a minor hit with an anti-Spice Girls song in 1997.
The band was completed by Tom Leathes (vocals, guitar) and Bob Cooper (bass guitar). Debut single "Moving" picked up radio airplay on BBC Radio 1 (where the band was championed by alternative-music guru Steve Lamacq), XFM and LA's KROQ.
Courtney J, Dobson and Jong met at Westminster University 2000-2003 and went through a number of name changes before settling on Pure Reason Revolution (PRR), including "The Wow and "Pendulum Dawn".
Signing to SonyBMG in autumn 2004, the following year saw the band releasing two singles - the 12-minute long Bright Ambassadors of Morning (the title is from a line in Pink Floyd's Echoes on the Meddle album), and The Intention Craft - plus one mini-album, Cautionary Tales for the Brave. This was released to make up for delays in recording that meant the band would miss its original launch window. The use of so many of the proposed album tracks on a mini-album led the band to develop some new material for the album, including "The Twyncyn/Trembling Willows". Releases were on the band's own Holograph imprint, via SonyBMG.
In March 2005, the band played the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, before playing several North American dates, and they regularly played on the British club circuit. During this time, PRR supported Mew, Hope of the States, Secret Machines, and Oceansize, as well as headlining their own gigs and recorded sessions for Mark Radcliffe's Radio Two show and XFM. In spring 2005, Jong left the band, to be replaced by another Westminster pal Jamie Willcox, though it is Jong's work featured on recorded output up to, and including, The Dark Third. Both Jong and Willcox receive credits on the The Dark Third album.
The band sometimes allows fans to listen to streaming material via its MySpace website, including works in progress and exclusive Christmas tracks.
The first full-length album, The Dark Third was released in the UK on April 10th 2006, and was produced by Paul Northfield (Rush, Porcupine Tree, Gentle Giant, Hole). A US version of the album containing the original, pre-Cautionary Tales mooted tracklisting and amended artwork was released in the USA on 25 July 2006.
In summer 2006, with his wife, Susanne Courtney, being pregnant with their first child, Andrew Courtney left the band. He was replaced by Paul Glover, formerly of the band Wire Jesus.
Jim Dobson then left the band in November 2006. Although there was no formal announcement regarding his departure, a notice on the band's forum explained that nothing more could be said, for "legal reasons."
In December 2006, the band parted company with Sony/BMG.
Pure Reason Revolution supported Blackfield on their European tour in February 2007. This was their first support tour with new drummer Paul Glover. Their live set had few changes, one of which was a reworked reprise of "Golden Clothes", in which all band members (minus Glover, who is drumming) play synthesizers and end singing a cappella.
Following the tour, the band began recording the follow-up to The Dark Third. In June, the band journeyed to the US again to play at the 2007 edition of the renowned progressive/art rock festival NEARfest, as well as at three other clubs. These shows saw the debut of a new song called "Deus Ex Machina". Pure Reason Revolution also opened for Porcupine Tree on their 'Tour Of A Blank Planet' European tour in June/July 2007.
The band played just one more UK date in 2007, on the 15th October at Southampton University.
The band released a 4-track EP of "Victorious Cupid" on ORG Records on 14 April 2008, accompanied by a one-off London show on 12 April 2008. . A live album entitled "Live at NEARfest 2007" was released on June 20, 2008 and the band have indicated in its updates that this may be followed by a new studio album in the autumn.
In April 2008 the band signed to German label Superball Music for the release of their next album, about which manager Jonathan Cooke made the following statement: "It was refreshing to find a situation that combines the artist commitment and enthusiasm of an indie with the ambition of a major. Signing a longer-term deal with Superball Music for album 2 onwards was an easy decision to make!
Reviews: Music - Mike maintains the magic THE STREETS: The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living VERDICT: *** PURE REASON REVOLUTION: The Dark Third VERDICT: **** & BUBBA SPARXXX: The Charm VERDICT: *** HI-5: Hi-5 Hits VERDICT: *** VARIOUS: Relaxing Songs VERDICT: *** ALBUMS
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