You know, as an indie music critic, I always get highly annoyed when people want to say rock n' roll is dead. Is it? Are you just being lazy? Thanks to today's technological advances, there is more music out there than ever. If you're looking for good rock, you'll find it. Case in point, Prophet Holographic from Ohio's Tree No Leaves. Their music calls back to the days of jam bands and psych rock. Their songs are layered and nuanced to be miniature journeys. I swear these songs feel about two minutes longer than they actually are. I love a band that can manipulate time.
From a musical standpoint, you get all the fantasy and flight like you would get from a proper jam band, but they definitely have a modern indie rock vein in their work. Obviously there a plenty of love letters written to decades past, but this album maintains a freshness that is endearing. Also the fact that these songs are not the traditional jam band length makes them more accessible. There is a robust lineup of instruments and sounds at play here. This includes things like synth which creates a subtle ambiance in some of the tracks that adds to the spaciness. I was also very smitten with the saxophone work. Even thought there is a lot going on, this album is very tight and cohesive on the musical end. They always seem to bring it full circle, no loose ends.
The vocal work is beautiful. Vocalist Dustin Galish is very ranged and expressive. He can settle into any genre they may be toying with at the time in a very organic way. He is never overbearing; he rides alongside the music like a co-pilot. There is an equal exchange that works to the group's advantage. He is tasked with delivering incredible lyrics. I find that the lyrics fall heavily into the poetic category.
Prophet Holographic is a studio project and it shows in the best kind of way. As I said, these songs almost sound longer than they are. Their sound is one that is big and sprawling. It needs room to breathe and that's what their studio time did for them. The mixing and mastering is worth an honorable mention as well. This album is finely tuned into a very even handed balance. Again, there is a symbiotic give and take and it works so well. This album sounds utterly fantastic.
So who would be into this album? I would say this album is for rock fans who like digesting something with layers and nuance. I don't know that this album has classic mass appeal, but I wouldn't put it past this group to pop off soon. Not only is this album great, but I am heavily motivated to see them which I think would be incredible. I would love to be able to say I knew these guys before they were cool, and something tells me I just might have the pleasure one day.
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