Esoteric Antenna 2015
Radiant revitalization of Canadian progressive force exploring inner and outer spaces.
Almost four decades after their start and 28 years since their last studio effort, Cameron Hawkins has landed his band’s latest emergence, getting into gear from 2011 on, on this album that feeds on the same energy as classic "Black Noise" yet it’s not extraterrestrial now. High on humane agenda – the sweetly orchestrated of “Re-boot, Reawaken” may allude to the mortal ensemble’s new rise – the quartet hint at the possibilities beyond the event horizon in the vocal harmonies-filled opener “Brave New Worlds,” which streamlines funk into electric wire, but the record’s finale lays the artists’ intent on the line. And that’s a very vibrant line thanks to Aaron Solomon handling a violin and Edward Bernard who adds viola to the swirl lurking deep in the folky foil of “Cosmic Blue” – punctured with Hawkins’ bass.
There’s always a balance between the various meanings of what may seem clear at the onset, so the spiritual ebb-to-explosiveness of “The Love Bomb (Universal Love)” overturns the oriental belligerence served in “Tour Of Duty,” but the thicker the album’s tentative concept gets the less graceful music flow turns out. As a result of its grandiose erection, “Children Of Eve” falls heavily in the rhythmic pit as carved by Paul DeLong’s pounding drums, while “Safe And Sound” provides a pacifying haven of art-pop bliss, and “Soldiers Of Life” finds an anxious escape in a klezmer delirium before it dissolves into a hymnal, mandolin-moved serenity of “Heaven On Earth.” That’s the transformation humanity should strive for, and that’s the new, vital transformation of the old band into a youthful force.