Esoteric Antenna 2014
The milk of human kindness flows for transatlantic collective’s third floating.
Having started as a studio-bound project, this band still don’t perform on-stage much, yet their recordings more and more aim the ensemble’s artsiness down to earth, and “Godspeed” – both the album and its 10-minute atmospheric title track – shapes wishful thinking, or a thoughtful wish, on such a humane spiral. Here’s one of those rare progressive formations who welcome pop in their embrace, and FOF’s forte is not only the exquisite arrangements but also vocal harmonies that complement the fantasy flight of Frank’s van Bogaert’s keyboards and, together with Theo Travis’ folky flute, fill Marty Townsend’s six-string twang in “Callin’ Planet Home” with vibrant lucidity.
In these surroundings, the sax-swept acoustic floor of “Just A Nightmare” is cleansed from any fear the track’s title might suggest, and the upbeat “Don’t Love Me To Death” hands out its synthesizer-cut threat in the most kind way. Ealier than that, though, the gauzy “Ghost Song” wafts by leaving a trail of sweet sadness, until “Sanctuary” – punctured with Nick Beggs’ bass – bares its riffs and sculpts a polyphonically gorgeous rocker from a velvet acoustic ballad. Still, the sense of urgency is present in every corner of this universe, the lulling chorus and gliding guitar of “Tick Tock” in its zenith where anxiety meets bliss, until the strum-and-piano “My Dog” takes the dream back into reality only to find that love and loyalty live there, too. A life-affirming effort.