A Wonderful Day, the second CD by the Philadelphia-based progressive jam band Brothers Past, chronicles a long night's journey into insomnia with harrowing precision. Part Pink Floyd, part Radiohead and all captivatingly bizarre, Brothers Past fills almost 64 minutes with beautiful-sounding paranoia about the thoughts that creep into your mind when you're trying to sleep. "This is a record about the night," reads the liner notes. "It is about the unknown. It's about what lies in the shadows waiting. It's the idea that maybe things will be different tomorrow … It's the realization that nothing's perfect."
Including this disc, which may meander a bit too much for some listeners. But insomnia — what a concept to explore, both musically and lyrically. Some of the 11 tracks here border on pop rock (the title cut and "The Mirror"), with pleasing melodies and three-part vocal harmonies. But others ("Night Villains" and "Monsters Come Out At Night") emerge from a deeper and darker place, as blasts of electronica — Rick Lowenberg plays both real drums and electronic drums — and space rock propel extended free-form jam sessions. Brothers Past spent two weeks writing and recording A Wonderful Day and more than 100 hours mixing it. The effort paid off, as you'll be up all night trying to hear a misplaced note of distortion or fuzz in this multi-textured sonic assault.
Don't listen to A Wonderful Day to help fight insomnia, though. Sure, some of the music may hypnotize you with its melancholy, but it'll also mess with your mind and keep you awake. In fact, if you're in the mood, A Wonderful Day makes for an even better night.