Flash continues on the same course as their self-titled LP with In The Can, released in late 1972. The cover was Hipgnosis' idea, claims Pete! Tony Kaye had already left to form Badger, so Peter Banks plays incidental keys while carrying the band on guitar. This led Flash into sounding more like a hard rock band, and their sound drifted farther from being a Yes clone. Ray Bennett writes most of the songs, with Banks, Colin Carter and Mike Hough contributing to one song apiece.
The opener, the Colin Carter penned "Lifetime", is one of the best tracks on the album. Carter's vocals explain how what you do in life is more important than how long you live. The vocal distortion section in the middle of the song is especially good. Next comes "Monday Morning Eyes", built around very abstract lyrics from Carter, is pleasant enough but doesn't offer anything particularly unique. Flash's most complex and varied composition, "Black and White", is like "Dreams of Heaven" from their first album, but much more varied and complex. With some of Banks' best guitar work and Carter's best lyrics, this one is a keeper. Just listen to the 'golden land' chorus in the middle, and you'll see what I mean. "Stop That Banging" is a two minute drum solo from Mike Hough, showing that his creativity and chops rival Bill Bruford's. The closer, "There No More", isn't quite as successful as the other long songs preceding it. Good playing from Banks and the rhythm section doesn't offset Carter's undecipherable lyrics, and the recording engineer's decision to lop off the last minute and five seconds without a fade out.
While not as focused as their first or third albums, In The Can has two of their best long compositions and shows the direction that they would be going in their next release.
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