10 Days is a great concept album from the Welsh progressive rock group The CSides Project, and gives us a great combination of male and female vocals. The CSides Project consist of five musicians, with Martin Rosser on guitars, Allan Mason‐Jones on drums and percussion, who are members of the band Magenta. 10 Days is the bands third album, and is a concept based on the ten days Nellie Bly, an American reporter in the late 1800s, spent in the asylum for the insane on Blackwell Island. Nellie Bly is a pen name for Elizabeth Cochran Seaman, who worked as an undercover reporter. Seaman launched a new kind of investigative journalism, her courageousness eventually helped to change the treatment and care of all patients with mental health.
The album is pretty cleverly constructed from sounds and melodies that provide color and texture within the songs. Moreover, the songs are driven by compound time signatures that punctuate the melodies adding definition to the arrangements. 10 Days is definitely a move in the right direction for The CSides Project, a group who are made up of a group of musicians that got together to make the sort of music that they themselves would like to listen to. The band makes progressive rock nods to the classic progressive bands of the 1970’s – Rush, Yes, Genesis, while at the same time giving the music a modern and surprising twist.
Each of the band members brings something new and exciting to the mix. The combined lead vocals of Allen McCarthy and Sian Elson add depth, range and emotion to the songs. Martin Rosser’s guitar is fluid, accurate and creative, capturing the mood of the lyrics by providing the right melodic and rhythmic textures. Kevin Dawson’s keyboards provide cleverly-constructed color and texture within the songs. The drums help to define and drive the sound, adding definition to the arrangements and punctuating the compound time signatures. Combined with the drums, the bass guitar by Allen McCarthy completes the rhythm section, providing clever contrapuntal melody lines.