Let's Leave It At This For Now

The Spaces Between

Independent release, 2014


REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray


The first thought I had upon hearing "Underwater Castle," the opening track from this album, was that somehow 311 and Yes had joined forces in the guise of a young trio from central California.

Actually, Yes singer Jon Anderson himself stops by this album to guest on the final track "Orchasm" (har har), but this is not exactly a progressive rock album. Although it does draw from the classic Yes playbook (check out "Games"), the songs are short, the lyrics make sense and the trio draws from other styles as well into a unique whole, which is what the prog movement is all about anyway. This album is just over a half hour at eight tracks, but it feels like much more is going on than that short run time would suggest, such is the dense nature of the songwriting and the fact that I, at least, haven't heard anything quite like this in some time.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

"Independence" is fascinating, taking a strong Yes vibe and giving it an indie/skate rock twist, somehow managing to be both compelling and full of shit in the verses but concluding with a wonderful, too-short Andrew Rubin guitar solo and a tricky prog rock jam right off Fragile. Noah Colton's voice seems inspired by both Brian Wilson and Anderson throughout, not as much in his words as in his delivery and the higher octave. This suits the playful "Only Thing Left" (shades of mid-period Beach Boys and modern day Red Hot Chili Peppers) and the exuberant, driving "Century," the most 311-ish track here.

"Let It Out" moves through a couple of sections with confidence, featuring some great playing by Rubin (the hammer-on solo and power chord strumming in the middle is impressive) and anchored by Colton's bass; if only the first couple of minutes were half as good, this would be a killer song. Still, it will translate well to the live show; I can envision the trio stretching it out, and it would be the highlight of the show. "Orchasm" is a bit meandering and precious through the first part, but gives way to a great Yes-ish middle and then a beautiful closing section, with Anderson's vocal rings swirling around a cello section and Liam Smith's strong drums.

With an individual sound, some great playing and a true sense of both fun and accomplishment, this album is worth checking out for anyone into prog rock, skate rock, alt rock or something a little out there that isn't like much else on the radio. It will be interesting to watch where this trio goes, especially if a legend like Anderson thinks enough of this debut to sing on a track.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2014 Benjamin Ray and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Independent release, and is used for informational purposes only.