Generation Prog 2015
Power play exploration in progression from American keyboard-driven unit.
Just when it seemed the days of great rock organists were gone forever, Hammond-rider Jim Alfredson makes a statement on both political and musical terms. Having delved into rhythm-and-blues with ROOT DOCTORS and jazz with ORGANISSIMO and tucked a a couple of solo albums under his belt, Jim’s new endeavor is a full-on prog project. Heavy and gloomy concept aside, vestiges of his previous palettes seep into it making the album a thing of pleasure, as Alfredson doesn’t lock into his weapon of choice but uses various synthesizers without ever shying away from a pop gloss.
That’s how it goes for the dimly lit, hypnotic “Creatures Of Our Comfort” with its bitter laugh and skank of a groove, and for “Idle Worship” whose soulful testifying unfolds into a scintillating rumination, while the title track introduces a theatrical setting where Zach Zunis’ blissful guitar creates a contrast to the ivories’ rage. Stressing the dystopia, “The Blood That Floats My Throne” hides a bluesy undercurrent under its nervous riffs and solemn Moog moodiness which expands its dynamic and harmonic span into a cosmic drama. Still spacy, if soft, “These Are The Simple Days” opts for a warm vocal from Jim and a piano ripple made even more supple by Gary Davenport’s fretless bass, yet closer “Exile” runs its orchestral vibe dry until it gets shifting momentum and suddenly lets light hope in with a gust of keyboards’ solar fire.
Here’s this endless circle of all-devouring life that always loops back to the beginning – a game worth playing.