Miguel Herrera, Mike Holmes and Javon Darity are a three-piece band from North Carolina called Evolution. They recently released a five-song EP entitled Ascension, which is almost entirely instrumental fusing together a lot of jazz and rock elements. There is no doubt each member is very talented at their chosen discipline.
I read on their Bandcamp page “The five songs create a narrative for the listener to experience Evolution's interpretation of the journey towards enlightenment. Each song illustrates a stage representing the trials and sacrifices one faces in realizing the true self, an ultimately fulfilling experience.” Talk about setting the bar a little high. If Radiohead would have said that about their latest album I would have had my arms crossed waiting to be impressed. The ironic thing about that statement is that there are hardly any lyrics to create a narrative. When I did hear a couple words I couldn’t make out what was being said.
I took their music at face value like I do all music and what I found was a couple of musicians who were both creative and technical. You can make an argument that they are a prog-rock band or a jam band. They have elements of both styles.
They open with “Horizons” that immediately establishes the band’s talent. Within the first minute they go through three or four significant changes. They change time with precision and the band goes into flourishing moments that are often very beautiful. It is a great opener that packs in so much music.
You hear vocals on ”Algidity” and for the life of me I was struggling to make out a single word. Singing may not be the band's strong suit. Luckily, they pull off some instrumental gymnastics later in the song.
The band continues to bring it with “Bracer” and “Convulsions (Outcry).” Wild Weather” contains some singing but I wasn’t feeling it quite as much as the purely instrumental work. For some reason I thought a female lead vocal would work nicely.
This trio has a crazy amount of talent. It will be interesting to see where they go from here.
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