Here we have four diverse releases that find themselves sheltering under the umbrella known as 'prog'.
As if to prove the size of that term, we have the classic prog influenced styling of the highly impressive Presto Ballet, the meshing of a myriad of ideas with Evolve IV, the latest in the exciting prog journey for Jack Foster III, and a tribute album given a new breath of life, Rewiring Genesis.
Therefore there is much here to offer fans of prog in its many guises.
Evolve IV – Decadent Light (ProgRock Records, 2008)
Formed by two prog rock muso’s from either side of the Atlantic, Evolve IV delve deeply into a more modern progressive source of inspiration, and mesh it together with a wide range of diverse influences.
There are some prog moments for sure and the band builds on such a background but there is more, a whole lot more. Sure they list classic bands such as Pink Floyd, Yes, Genesis but they place them alongside the diverse likes of The Grateful Dead, The Beatles, Radiohead, Killers, and even Coldplay.
Evolve IV consist of founder members guitarist and keyboard player Peter Matuchniak (Mach One) from the UK and American Michael Eager (Vitamin Funk, Mind Expansion) on vocals and guitar. Bass is added by Jim DeBaun, and drummer Paul Sheriff completes the line-up.
Decadent Light touches upon all of the above influences whilst creating some highly satisfying freshness along the way. Inventive, imaginative, and intriguing, Evolve IV have done what the band name says and developed a style brimming with chemistry.
The melodic opener “Number 16” is instantly engaging; constantly shifting, it succeeds in locking you in. “War” sits nicely behind this impressive opener. It has a familiar acoustic opening blending smooth vocals, and an Argus era Wishbone Ash guitar styling.
“Listen Up” sees the band go a little deeper into their influences, oddly Van Der Graaf sax amid shades of some elements of classic jazz prog, it blends together to form a fascinating track. There is a vague nod to the Grateful Dead, American Beauty era, on “Judgement Day”. “Rolling Along” is a mesh of it all, Floyd, Wishbone Ash, amid Evolve IV’s own character lead to another engaging listen.
“Saturday’s Gone” takes it a step further with a nicely paced track, leading to a standalone “Must Have Been The Future”. The Dead re-appear this time in Workingman’s Dead guise on “Baby Come Back”. “Voyager” takes us in an entirely different direction with some impressively controlled guitar in an interlude of an instrumental.