Retrograde Reality is the solo project for Brandon Frie. He recently released Sol which is a four- song EP. Certain things are as predictable as the rise and fall of the sun. One of those things is if you are a musician you are most likely very influenced by artists, albums and songs you heard in your formative years. By formative years in music I would say the late teens and early twenties.That seems to be the case with Frie who was influenced by Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Rush, Yes and other bands from that time period.
I would argue that Sol isn’t technically advanced enough to be considered prog rock which often changes time signatures, BPM and keys several times per song. It fits a little more into classic rock genre which often sticks to 4/4 and major and minor keys.
These songs are really about the lead guitar. That becomes pretty evident within the first track “Mars” which implements samples in order to create a loose theme of space exploration. The song has a bit of a Pink Floyd vibe. You could say the lead guitar is sort of catchy in a way that mimics a vocal. As far as the technical impressive aspects that some people look for I can’t say my jaw was ever to the floor.
In fact I think that’s a fair thing to say about all the lead guitar. There are lead guitarists who are simply incredible and who can hit a million notes and run the fret board like no one’s business. As I mentioned I think Frie’s strength lies in the aesthetics as he showcases on “Ganymede.” That being said some of the timing could have been more seamless and some bends seemed like they were a hair off with the music.
“Saturn” is a solid song but think the closer “Impulse” was the highlight which showcases some sensual saxophone as well as guitar.
Frie might be a little shy for you might call a studio session guitarist but showcases a lot of talent for a someone who isn’t dedicated full time to music. The songs as a whole were well constructed but at the same time mostly seemed to fill the purpose as the foundation for the lead guitar. Fans of ’70s rock should enjoy what this release brings to the table.
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