Here's a little change of pace from the band known as Rocket Scientists, as they return from a 6 year hiatus with the all instrumental EP called Supernatural Highways. Normally a very tuneful & melodic vocal oriented progressive rock band, Erik Norlander, Mark McCrite, Don Schiff & Co. decided to record a brief instrumental set here for the 20th anniversary of their debut album Earthbound (wow, has it really been 20 years?) back in 1993. Helping out the trio are Gregg Bissonette (drums), Greg Ellis (percussion), Jon Papenbrook (trumpet), Eric Jorgensen (trombone), and Norlander's wife Lana Lane on vocal pads.
The bulk of the EP is taken up by the 26-minute title track, an epic piece chock full of Norlander's stellar keyboard jaunts, the many guitar textures from McCrite, and not only Schiff's intricate NS/Stick lines but also some mournful cello passages, which add a really nice touch. Bissonette & Elis also combine on this extended track to provide plenty of rhythmic flair. Through this entire piece, the genius of Norlander's writing really shines, and when you add in his uncanny knack for creating symphonic sounds on his many keyboards that recall not only the glory days of prog-rock & fusion, but also more contemporary styles, it's no surprise how much of a success this epic is. It's got sizzle, it's got groove, it's got melody, and it's got pizzazz!
The final piece on the EP is their cover of the James Bond theme "On Her Majesties Secret Service", complete with horns and some vocal coloring from Lane. McCrite tosses in some tasty guitar leads to go along with Norlander's blazing synth runs, and at just over 4-minutes long, you'll wish it was longer.
Housed in a lovely digipack with stunning artwork and notes from the producers desk (Norlander), this is another classy release from Rocket Scientists, who promise much more to come in the near future. We will wait with open arms.
1) Traveler on the Supernatural Highways (Parts 1-7)- 26:09
2) On Her Majesty's Secret Service - 4:14