Staring Into Nothing dropped their debut album, Power, not too long ago. The album features Steve Rogers on keyboards and vocals, Savannah Rogers on acoustic guitar and vocals, and Kurt Barabas on bass and guitar. Guest musicians include Matt Chamberlain on drums, David Levita on guitars, and Pop Levi and Andrea Meli on backing vocals.
Billed as a progressive rock trio, Staring Into Nothing merges contemporary prog rock sounds with incisive social observations.
Power contains 10 tracks. “Puritans” begins with an elegant piano and Rogers’ mellow tenor flowing into a prog rock melody reminiscent of Emerson, Lake and Palmer. The piano drives the melody as scintillating guitars foam with harmonic shimmers. When the melody shifts, assuming dark grungy colors, the tune takes on a rampaging essence. “School Daze” rides a softly glowing prog rock melody punctuated by caressing guitar accents.
“Obey” emanates a Genesis-like aroma, smooth and supple, with subdued guitars. Rogers’ voice is indulgently flavored, reflecting a variety of echoing colors, as lenient backing vocal harmonies add coruscating hues. “The Program” exudes resonant hums pervaded by psychedelic pigments and sparkling, emerging guitars. There’s a Pink Floyd-esque feel drifting through the music, undulating yet muscular. This is one of my favorite tunes on the album because of the gently emerging guitars.
“Heads or Tails” kicks things up a notch, reveling in an energetic prog rock melody glimmering with iridescent guitars and a tough, flexible piano. “Information Crime” presents a meandering intro riding the piano and oohing voices. A dark energy emanates from the music, especially when the dirty guitar accents enter, adding a brittle opacity.
“Towers” is a lengthy song composed of two parts: ecstasy and agony. It rides a measured prog rock melody infused with psychedelia dreaminess. It’s a monumental piece that begins to droop a bit under its own weight. “Big Brother” starts off with piano and light percussion, followed by Rogers’ calm tenor. Then the melody ramps up, taking on a rushing prog rock flavor full of shiny vocal harmonies and simmering guitars that infuse the tune with luster. “Freedom” combines prog rock with rock colors, as well as psychedelic accents and colorations that emanate puissant dynamics.
“Gates of Hell” opens with glorious vocal harmonies transitioning into a prog rock melody rife with crisply tinny guitars and shadowy colors. There’s a suffused ghostly quality to the tune that mirrors contemptuous derogation.
The lyrics of “Gates of Hell” reflect the powerful social commentary evident in Staring Into Nothing’s songs. Rogers does not pull his punches.
“Laws get created by the social elite / To control other people, enforce their beliefs / Politicians argue who is tougher on crime / They want ever longer sentences, more people doing time / Beware true believers, they’ll grind you to dirt.”
Power is a strong album, especially if you’re into gleaming prog rock. The melodies ooze undulating waves of harmonic colors and the vocal harmonies complement the expansive nature of the music. Staring Into Nothing has produced an assertive album worth listening to.