LP - Once and Future Band - S/T
In the vapor trail of “How Does It Make You Feel,” the first track on this self-titled full length, one can smell the burnt ozone of a seventies-full-orchestra-nebula-pop-odyssey, the flakes floating down and landing like snow, giving grave-chills … the ash of a masterpiece pop song. Once And Future Band: this incredibly accomplished cabal of total prog wizards has circled the earth, but then, these are the accomplished gentlemen of many former pursuits (the formidable Drunk Horse among them) and all of them comets themselves. The very mid-’70s vibe at work here surpasses pastiche, and crests that lovely anachronistic conceptual peak: a fully realized and meticulously arranged psych record, meant to be listened to from top to bottom, with the lights down low and in a comfy chair perhaps, or while gazing out the window of your life pod. The Dark Side of the Moon feel, with shades of early Yes’s technicality, a dash of Steely Dan’s vocal prowess and effortless sheen, and some seriously outsized hooks that call to mind the mighty ELO, Le Orme and, yes, even the unsinkable Queen powered on Brian May’s tape echo jet fuel and sequined power cells. This is a head record in the classic sense but utter fealty to The Dark One insures both being trapped and infected by the pop-parasite. That it is largely self-produced (with tracking / engineering on three of the songs by Phil Manley at El Studio) makes it all the more jaw dropping. Making prog cool again, again, and then slightly more complicatedly, again.