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Perfect Beings: Perfect Beings

The entrance statement from American progressive rock act Perfect Beings strikes an impressive balance between catchy, pop-infused melodies and intricate prog compositions, all while taking the listener on a dreamlike journey through time and space. Especially considering that this self-titled 2014 release is only the band's debut, Perfect Beings has an unbelievably commanding sense of style and sophistication in their music. Their songs have a somewhat surreal atmosphere, and even though the compositions can get quite busy at times, the moody vocals of Ryan Hurtgen, powerful soundscapes from Jesse Nason, and Gilmouresque guitar work from Johannes Luley keep the music on the dreamlike side of things.

I also appreciate the band's wide range of influences; although bands like Yes and Genesis surely figure into Perfect Beings' inspiration, their music does not sound even mildly derivative of the seventies' symphonic prog giants. Perfect Beings almost sounds like a cross between The Beatles (you can especially hear this on "The Canyon Hill"), Hogarth-era Marillion, and Lunatic Soul. That really doesn't do Perfect Beings any justice, however, as their music is too multifaceted to be pigeonholed by a few comparisons. On the whole, this is a debut album that stands tall when examined from any perspective, and even though some listeners may be turned off by the inevitable "pop-prog" label, Perfect Beings is an example of that genre delivered impeccably.


Track Listing:
1. The Canyon Hill (2:29)
2. Helicopter (2:40)
3. Bees and Wasps (6:24)
4. Walkabout (9:22)
5. Removal of the Identity Chip (5:43)
6. Program Kid (4:39)
7. Remnants of Shields (3:50)
8. Fictions (4:57)
9. Primary Colors (3:30)
10. One of your Kind (8:18)

Added: April 9th 2014
Reviewer: Jeff B
Score:
Related Link: Perfect Beings Official Website
Hits: 1737
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Perfect Beings: Perfect Beings
Posted by Mark Johnson, SoT Staff Writer on 2014-07-02 17:07:43
My Score:

Perfect_Beings: My Sonic Temple




"Some people say that the end of the world is nigh. Consider instead, for a moment that the world already ended, and today is what remains. A new world unfamiliar, emerging from the detritus of the old". Suhail Rafidi.




That is the quote on the inside cover of the CD for Perfect Beings debut album. I think it is also a request to treat their music as if you have never heard anything close to it before. Well, it is a lot to imagine and assume for sure. But this band has one of the most original sounding albums I have heard this year. So for that they must be commended. However, I do see many similarities between Yes and they're most recent album members' band the Buggles.




Lead singer, Ryan Hurtgen, on the opening track "Canyon Hill" immediately had me comparing his vocals to Trevor Horn. Some of the atmospheric keys, innovative lead guitar, and especially the deep bass will take you back to classic Yes albums. Which is absolutely a good thing. However, they add their own twists and do not sound a bit like a cover band. I only discuss the reference to give some grounding. Being compared to classic Yes is no small compliment. But the innovation this band displays on this debut takes them far beyond the last incarnation of Yes.




Every track on this album brings a new unfolding wonder of sound to the progressive rock scene. I especially enjoyed the opener, "Canyon Hill', and the second track, "Helicopter", which are both full of that pop wonder Trevor Horn brings to the genre. "Bees and Wasps" is full of that deep bass that I mentioned earlier. It will quickly bring to mind Chris Squire's bass sound. "Remnants of Shields" is probably my favorite song. Those refrains of "Appalachia, I fell in love with a girl" are fantastic. Took me right back to another great modern prog singer, Pineapple Thief's Bruce Soord.




"Fictions" ends up late on the album, possibly preventing early comparisons. This track above all has the most obvious Yes influences from 90125, with its "Changes" refrain, and other past sounds including: cool vocal harmonies, Steve Howe - like arching rainbow guitar chords, and wonderfully innovative keyboard and piano. "Primary Colors" is another great highlight with reminiscent sounds similar to a top of their prime Tears for Fears. "One of Your Kind", is an over eight minute epic song full of those wonderful Steve Howe 'somewhere over the rainbow' guitar climbs as well as his soft classic guitar interludes.




I have read some other reviews and most people agree that this album will be one of the year's best, and you can add my name to that list. This fall is full of some dynamic releases from some legendary bands, but I think this album will stand up well amongst them. I am lucky to have been included in the reviewer lists for this debut album. Please listen to me and the others who have reviewed this album and experience this. Your feeling for the state and the future of progressive rock will definitely be renewed. Johannes Luley, on lead guitar, Ryan Hurtgen, on lead vocals and piano, and Chris Tristam, on bass, should be immediately nominated in each of their categories as potential performers of the year. Jesse Nason, on keyboards, and Dicki Flizar, on drums also do a great job of providing rhythm and plenty of highlights.




They may not be perfect beings, but this debut is about as perfect as you can get.




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