Intricately laced, full-bodied sounds reminiscent of the psychedelic era. Brownie point.
Vocals that carry an intimate, raw quality. Brownie point.
A clear range in sound from dirty grunge to jazzy vocals. Earl Greyhound’s latest Ancient Futures keeps racking up the points.
What is especially ear catching about the album is its lifelike quality. Close your eyes and you are with the band, entwined in sound. Matt Whyte’s gentle, vocally dominated lead into “Hellhound” functions to clear the acoustical palate. All other sounds cancel out as Whyte coaxes the listener into a provocative, but perfectly dirty, heavily grunged chorus that makes up for the musical minimalism throughout the majority of the piece.
All other sounds cancel out as Whyte coaxes the listener into a provocative, but perfectly dirty, heavily grunged chorus that makes up for the musical minimalism throughout the majority of the piece.
Overcompensating for the sparing sounds used in “Hellhound” is “Lady Laser,” a brazen, female-fueled anthem. Kamora Thomas displays strength in vocals through the many moods of the song. The piece runs from forceful, with strong vocals mirrored by the equally bold bass riffs, to the light guitar riffs that match vocals that carry an eerie doll-like tone.
Detailing that is used is what distinguishes the song. An echo is used to complement Thomas’ vocals, creating a “futuristic” sci-fi aspect. It makes an otherwise unnoteworthy rock piece take on an otherworldly tone.
The apex of the short, but brilliant, track list is the 10-minute long patchwork of soul, harmony and out of body experience titled “The Fall and Rise of Mu,” a song as equally epic as the title suggests.
Thomas’ previously commanding vocals fade, losing the fullness, and instead, taking on an ethereal, even ghostly quality. She, like Whyte, uses the power of her voice to function like gravity, drawing everything in so that time; space; nothing else matters but the transcendental journey depicted.
“The Fall and Rise of Mu” carries so much depth, mostly because the length of the track allows Earl Greyhound the ability to really get into a groove.
Outlined by an angelic guitar, symbol, chime combination, the piece starts out much lighter than its predecessors. Told from a first-person point of view, Thomas creates an image of the world falling away. She sings of life in retrospect “as the ocean swallowed and tore the ground.” As she goes down, so does the music. She cries, “What have we done?” and just as the piece seems to peter out, it resurrects with an unexpectedly rock sound.
“The Fall and Rise of Mu” carries so much depth, mostly because the length of the track allows Earl Greyhound the ability to really get into a groove. It’s not just about counting beats or getting the timing exactly right. The ocean in the piece represents the music itself; it washes over the listener, consuming him or her, as it takes a turn to transcend the generations.
By the end of the journey, the band borrows Jefferson Airplane’s sound, where the instruments blend together as Ricc Sheridan’s drumming, or rather cymbal work, takes over and highlights Thomas as she channels her inner Grace Slick.
Ancient Futures brings back the days of Floyd and Zeppelin, when music wasn’t listened to; it was experienced.
Ancient Futures Tracklisting
2. Lady Laser
3. The Fall and Rise of Mu