When I was told I would be reviewing a band called Role of the Observer with an album called Quantum State that contained psychedelic artwork I was expecting a psychedelic, ambient possibly new age record. The band sounds nothing like that. Nick Leach (guitar/vocals/keyboards), Tyler Rhodes (guitar/vocals/keyboards/bass), Max Leach (drum/ percussion) and Nate Epperson (bass) have more in common with prog rock and some of the darker classic rock bands from the early ‘70s on their recent release 3 of a Kind. In all honesty, looking at pics of these guys I wasn’t expecting to get this type of music.
The band may not be the most original that you hear this year but the band delivers solid songs and have a good amount of talent. First up is “Prism” which revolves around waves of distortion, rumbling drums and fairly straightforward bass work. The vocal are aesthetically pleasing against the music. There is a bit of a comparison you can make to Josh Homme in that there is a clean almost ethereal quality to the vocals. The band really excels in the instrumental splurge towards the end. Don’t miss the lead guitar solo.
“3 of a Kind” is a sludgy song that moves along in a ‘70s classic rock type of way. The band takes their time and doesn’t rush. There's also a bit of a Guns N’ Roses thing going on a points like during the guitar solo. I already established that the band excels in the instrumental area and that's why “Sheath” kicks ass. It’s pretty much one long guitar solo with a lot of reverb but it was enjoyable. “Vice” tips its hat to King Crimson type prog rock while closer “Squealing Vacuum” is a seven-minute epic that you won’t want to miss.
Role of the Observer is a solid band and I am pretty sure their live shows rock. 3 of a Kind isn’t perfect but has some enjoyable, rocking tunes I think fans of ‘70s hard/prog rock will instantly enjoy.
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