Staring Into Nothing is the new musical trio comprised of Steve Rogers (keyboards, lead vocals), Savannah Rogers (acoustic guitar, lead & backing vocals), and Kurt Barabas (bass, guitar, Tauras bass pedals, backing vocals), with their debut album Power also utilizing the help of guest musicians Matt Chamberlain (drums), David Levita (guitars), and Pop Levi & Andrea Meli on backing vocals. Power was also recorded with the assistance of producer/mixer Mark Needham. What we have here is a highly engaging, lush collection of songs that bridge the gap between pop and progressive rock, or 'art rock' for a better term, with 'lyrical themes delving into the abuse of power, the struggle of romantic relationships, and the devastation of war.'
From the very first listen, one of the key attributes about Power is how hauntingly beautiful these songs are. There are melodies here that stick with you right from the outset, with Steve's lead vocals perfectly meshing with Savannah's angelic crooning as the swirling keyboards and layers of guitars drift through the arrangements in intoxicating fashion. "The Program" nestles itself in your brain and refuses to leave, while other engaging tracks like "Puritans" and the lovely "School Daze" contains hooks and lush instrumentation aplenty, the latter an example of what Rush might sound like had they gone pure pop. "Heads of Tails" is a quirky pop rocker with an exquisite vocal from Savannah, silky bass grooves from the ex-Under the Sun founder Barabas, and jazzy piano courtesy of Rogers, with some icing on the cake coming from Levita's sizzling wah-wah lead guitar.
It's at this point in the album that things start to take a turn into more progressive waters, starting with the 9+ minute "Information Crime". Steve's yearning lead vocals and piano lead us into what turns into a wild Pink Floyd-meets-Rush styled number, the guitar riffs becoming fierce, the rhythms featuring plenty of bottom end, and the synth textures straight out of the glory days of '70s prog. A tasty Levita guitar solo takes the listener through to the conclusion, eventually giving way to the 18-minute "Towers", the main epic on Power. Ominous synth textures and echoing guitar strains blend with Savannah's gorgeous acoustic guitar and vocals, a real treat for any fan of Yes and Genesis. The breezy pop number "Big Brother" comes next, complete with layers of vocals & keyboards, and that's followed by the crisp rocker "Freedom", highlighted by some metallic riffing and Kurt's expert bass lines. "Gates of Hell" closes out the show, a chilling take on the current situation of the world with some expert instrumentation that mixes hard rock & prog, easily one of the top songs on the album.
As debuts go, Power is a damn good one, and apparently the band are already busy working on their follow-up, so it looks like 2018 will see more new music from this new outfit. Recommended!
See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!
School Daze 04:38
The Program 05:18
Heads or Tails 05:00
Information Crime 09:38
Towers (I. Ecstasy / II. Agony) 18:09
Big Brother 05:46
Gates of Hell 06:37