Rock Company 2017
International duo stage chemical wedding of heavenly bodies – given a groove and a reason to rock.
Running the gamut from heavy metal to art-rock and ambient, it was only a matter of time until Peter Cox would bring pop music into his field of expertise, and he does so here, with a fellow Aquarian Zoe Ehinger whose voice provides a magnetic perspective on astrological view of the world’s progress. Their debut album can be an interesting proposition, having a variety of styles shaken and stirred to create a rather familiar concept, yet the music will struggle to find its right audience, as there’s a lot of singer-songwriter approach applied – because that’s what it essentially is.
Still, the welcoming mix of bubbling synthesizers and looped vocals whisk the listener away from the moment “Under One Big Sky” announces its jubilant intent – tinctured with folk, possessed with infectious riffs and caressed with an acoustic guitar solo – which would be passed on to organ madness swirling “Air Element Three” on a seasonal axis. There are longer, much more serious pieces such as “The Water Bearer” to allow for Cox’s reflective, piano-to-cello passages contrasting Ehinger’s deliberately deadpan delivery, while the six-string layering fires up “Ray Five” to soar beyond new-age-esque scope and reach the hymnal questioning of “Mercury Rising” before “The Seventh Hymn” makes the meaning of it all too obvious, and “Amethyst Tranquility” flattens the occasional instrumental thrill.
The specters of “Hair” and “White Rabbit” aren’t coincidental in this context, of course, although a pseudo-stoned, declamatory stance may mar “Uranian Utopia” and “Saturnian Chaos” – unlike the delicious disco of “Darling Jupiter” where funk-ruffled emotions come to the fore. If the duo choose this direction to pursue on their next records, “Dawn Of…” should be followed by a brighter day.