|Posted on October 11, 2014 at 9:00 PM|
Flying Colors – Second Nature
Written by Dave Smiles
For some the love of music becomes so powerful it defines who they are as a person. They live and breathe it and choose to follow it as a career. While all musicians have a style they prefer, even members of some of the heaviest bands will claim to have other influences, be it classical, jazz, etc. Which is why side projects, supergroups (whatever you want to call them) are cool. It’s refreshing for the musicians, and gives us fans a chance to hear what else they can do.
Flying Colors is Steve Morse ( Dixie Dregs, Deep Purple) , Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, The Winery Dogs), Neal Morse (Spock’s Beard and Transatlantic) , Dave LaRue (Dixie Dregs, Steve Morse Band) and Casey McPherson (Alpha Rev).
This follow up to their 2012 self-titled debut is an impressive collection of prog-rock songs that draw comparisons to all of the members’ various bands as well as Jethro Tull, Journey and Pink Floyd and at times even Blackmore’s Night and Thin Lizzy. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I put this album on, but I was instantly gripped by music that while feeling laid back, was also demanding of my attention. Singer Casey McPherson has a unique talent for writing lyrics that create strong visuals and fit perfectly with the feel the band has created. Bombs Away and Peaceful Harbor are great examples of this.
The Fury of My Love shows McPherson has some real life experience to write about. He’s not just using a contrast in the song-title for the sake of being poetic, there’s a reason and motivation behind the theme which also shows he’s a songwriter to keep an eye on in the future. This track has one of my favourite solos on the album too, it fits the song perfectly and carries you towards the wind up of the song.
If you’re into odd metres then you’re bound to like all twelve minutes plus of the opening track, Open Up Your Eyes. What makes this prog rock song cool (yes prog and cool in the same sentence.) is the changes don’t distract from the overall calmness within the vibe.
The first single, Mask Machine, has some catchy vocal harmonies within its heavy rock vibe. There’s a constant pulse driving this one forward, in no small sense by Mike Portnoy’s drumming; and a killer guitar solo as well.
There are varying moods within the album, showcasing a lot of what this band has to offer. Be it the laid back hypnotic feel of Bombs Away, the Jethro Tull / Thin Lizzy feel of A Place In Your World and the Celtic outdoorsy feel of One Love Forever; it’ll be interesting to see what they have in store for us in the future.
If you’re a musician, or you’re after something a little different, or you’re a fan of ‘real’ music than you’ll want to check this album out. The debut video from the album, Mask Machine, is available to view on YouTube
Categories: Album Reviews