Prog isn’t supposed to be fun is it? Well, if you think that way, you will miss out on this third album from Pittsburgh’s We Came From Space. This quartet are, in effect, also an offshoot or side project of the Neal Morse Band’s keyboard player Bill Hubauer, along with guitarist Dave Buzard, bassist Dave Hawk and drummer Tim Malone who, together, have delivered a really fun and fine release that offers prog stylings, along with a healthy shot of almost fusionesque tones and licks.
There is so much to enjoy here, strong material and good music, alongside intelligent lyrics with a touch of goofiness that completes the sound. There is symphonic prog in there as well and I also detect touches of bands like Kansas and ELO, among others. Overall the band offer a great sounding set of songs and, like most releases these days, this is primarily available as a download, although physical CD’s can be found online if you look. I also recommend several listens for the music to really sink in.
The music is generally stirring stuff, especially in the longer tracks like title track Overlords, She’s The Bomb/ Atomic Blues and Seize The Day, all of which benefit from longer running times that give the tracks time to evolve.
Lets delve a little deeper into what makes this such a great album, beginning with Overlords. This slice of whimsy proposes aliens have previously visited and dominated humanity and that we play music for their amusement and satisfaction. It’s all complete hokum of course, but allows the band to channel their inner ELO, alongside some choppy guitar riffing in which Dave Buzard proves to be a pretty adept player. His descending riffs in the mid section are impressive, atmospherically mixing with the keyboards to deliver something very satisfying, a really strong opening track. On the Radio uses what sounds like early radio broadcasts to set the scene. This track appears to be about how we are manipulated and lied to by the media who want to push their own agendas and products onto us. It is quite a harsh lyrically, although probably well founded and has fantastic Hammond organ throughout.
Empty Space has a great swing to it and is almost funky at times. The song has a good swagger to its almost LA jazz swing and is a really impressive sounding track, there is also a great guitar solo in the middle section. Again this track certainly impresses highly. This run of quality is continued with the superb She’s The Bomb /Atomic Blues which seems to be about a famous starlet who’s glory days are gone and now she leaves chaos in her wake. There’s an interesting middle section with a plethora of synths playing. Overall it is far more laid back with a funky guitar and synth instrumental part that has lots of atmosphere and some serious chops being played, extremely competent and effectively. It’s all really rather blistering in places and an excellent and engaging track.
Reputation follows, opening with a very muscular riff. This track has a very radio friendly chorus to it and great vocals. The song details a celebrities fall from grace and his attempts to carry on afterwards. Silent Letters is next and this is a gentler number, possibly about a love never declared. This elegant track is graced with a wistful guitar solo and more strong supporting keyboards with a solid rhythm section, another standout track.
Facade is another impressive track with a chugging guitar line that reminds me of something that I can’t quite put my finger on. It is a song about projecting an image that may not be true or real, a shorter and yet no less interesting track. Seize The Day sounds like prime Kansas with its strong piano motif really striking home and the vocals capture the sound too. The song is about making the most of what you have around you, time, talents and people. It is a call to make the most of these resources as life can be short. This track is my favourite on the album as it really works for me. I love the lyrics and the performances are certainly impassioned and really work very well. It closes the album on a positive note
Overall this is a highly accomplished album and is one to return to frequently, I know I shall!
Released 3rd February, 2023.
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