I’m not sure if it’s just me, or do you sometimes hanker after some classic sounding prog from new bands? I’m after a classic, long piece that offers room for improvisation, uses strong reoccurring melodies and has some emotional value to it. Well in this Baltimore based band I think I may have found what I’m looking for, or at least something akin to it.
Released in late 2017 Home in Your Thoughts is the band’s third release and their first since the excellent Northumbria from 2011 and whilst this latest offering has only three tracks, it has a respectable running time of just under thirty minutes.
The theme of the first song is that of overcoming adversity in whatever form it may come at you, and how we can rise above it and master it. The song starts with a simple piano theme and excellent vocals from Ellsworth Hall, who has a good strong voice that suits the material. The song has a good progression to it that works well alongside a strong refrain that holds it all together. Around the six minute mark comes an arpeggiated guitar section, sounding very much like something that would come from the hands of a maestro like Steve Hackett, with a great tone and very reminiscent of mid era Genesis. This is followed by a lengthy keyboard solo, well-orchestrated bringing the influence of Tony Banks to the mix – and that is no bad thing at all. This song demonstrates the musicians talents off very well and the final segment of this track is a lengthy, very prog inspired piece which has elements of Yes in evidence. Special note here for the bass playing of Erik Marks who has a very Chris Squire like tone, which is complemented by the fluid guitar work from Mark Van Natta. This is a great piece of music with much to enjoy across it’s fifteen minute duration, fifteen very worthy minutes in fact!
The second track (well the third if you count the first as it two-parter) is a far more straightforward affair. Believe In Somebody calls for us to be there for, and to put our trust in those around us, something we should actively look to be doing in the world that we now face. Rather worthy sentiments and when taken in tandem with the themes behind the first two tracks rather inspirational. The song features a very memorable and catchy chorus, strong lyrics and all set against a quite strident beat. Add to this pulsating keyboards, great guitar lines, pushed by some chunky chords making this a catchy and memorable track indeed.
The theme of the final track is that of a man who is seeking reconciliation with his wife. Musically it is rather funky affair, with brassy sounding keyboard timbres give it beef, albeit in a progressive fashion, which works surprisingly well. The rhythm section is tight throughout the album, but notably so here. Another catchy chorus supported by more fluid guitar work from Mark Van Natt, neat keyboard work from Ellsworth Hall and last but not least, Joe Dwyer who adds a fine saxophone break. Janice steams along, always retaining its melodic sensibilities and simply a magnificent track to close what is a very worthy EP. And it will do very nicely until the band release their new album in early 2020 – one I am reliably informed is to feature heavily a mellotron and no doubt loads more symphonic loveliness. 🙂
You can listen to A Home In Your Thoughts, below on Bandcamp and if you enjoy its then their previous album Northumbria is also well worth looking out for too.
01. A Home In Your Thoughts/Second Home In Your Thoughts (15:09)
02. Believe In Somebody (4:36)
03. Janice (8:13)
Total Time – 27:58
Ellsworth Hall – Keyboards, Guitar, Vocals
Mark Van Natta – Guitar, Vocals
Erik Marks – Bass
Mike Harrington – Simmons Drums
Joe Dwyer – Saxophone