Rude Chord 2015
Dublin trio’s debut on a journey through time and mental space that has no place for retro-vision.
Tapping into one’s chosen genre’s glorious past often panders to those tired of progress while propelling a move forward. Such might be the thinking behind this project masterminded by singing keyboardist Jonathan Casey who’s had his share of temporal looping in David Cross‘ band. But there’s a new concept to M-OPUS which is evoking the spirit of a certain year – starting with 1975 and having 1978 in sight – and, thankfully, it’s not a patination effort on offer.
There’s no way these three tracks would fit on old LP, as “Different Skies” fluctuates for more than 33 minutes, while the bookending compositions clock in more moderately epic proportions. The album’s centerpiece ebbs with piano, flows with vocodered and then cleared to ethereal and earthy vocals and gets dramatized with Hammond splashes and six-string reefs and riffs, yet their resolution takes a form of contemporary, post-rock swelling and operatic rise, with Eastern motifs thrown in to spice it all up. Sharper still, funky opener “Travelling Man” floats on Casey’s organ and Colin Sullivan’s guitar clank before deliberately rough voice makes room for synthesizer’s bliss-and-blizzard where the bass locks in with Aran O’Malley’s drums for the heightened fantasy tension. But “Wasps” holds none of it oozing out glacial sliding instead which freezes the listener with elegiac chords and fairy-tale bells.
So 1975 is a tricky trap, after all, an excuse for indulging the band and prog aficionados in what they love – and to do that in style.