While it's most certainly a modern recording, you'd swear that much of Moth Vellum's debut CD came from 1975. This California outfit has created a warm and inviting prog album here, filled with hints of classic Genesis, Yes, Pink Floyd, and maybe a tad bit of Camel. Want some Moog, Mellotron, Hammond, Rickenbacker bass, soaring guitar, and tight drum fills? It's all here and then some. The band is comprised of Tom Lynham (keyboards, percussion), Matt Swindells (drums, lead vocals), Johannes Luley (guitars, backing vocals), and Ryan Downe (bass, lead vocals), and they have put together a very enjoyable & fun CD on this debut.
Opening song "Let The Race Begin" features plenty of fluttering Moog melodies, which will instantly remind of classic Yes or Genesis, and the tasty guitar work, rumbling bass, and dreamy vocals adds so much to this very impressive piece. "Whalehead" follows, an atmospheric & melodic number with lush keyboards and emotional vocals, again the Yes feel is there, especially with the vocals. The third cut is the near 14-minute epic "Salvo", a more rocking and uptempo piece, highlighted by stabbing, Hacket-inspired fretwork, fusiony synth passages, and booming Rickenbacker bass lines. The drum work on this one from Swindells is also quite impressive, especially during the extended instrumental sections. The way the band moves back and forth between the lush, pastoral parts and the more symphonic passages will almost bring you back to Foxtrot era Genesis. "Against the Suns" is another long track, a lush & dreamy piece that has a certain Pink Floyd-meets-Genesis feel to it, and features a tasty synth solo from Lynham & some jazzy lead guitar by Luley towards the conclusion. More 70's inspired prog comes at you with "Walk It Off", the band again going the epic route (three songs in a row over 11-minutes long), as they build up slowly after a furious synth/guitar exchange at the intro, Jon Anderson-ish lead vocals paving the way for sinewy guitar lines, thick bass, and layers of vintage sounding keys. The band fades out with a reprise of the "Against the Suns" theme, Luley's volume swells & Howe-ish leads stabbing through a wall of Mellotron samples and crisp drum beats.
Solid stuff all around from a band that manages to pay homage to the greats of the 70's but also give their own spin on modern prog. If you're digging the new Unifaun CD, chances are you'll want to add this one to your collection as well. Moth Vellum have arrived folks, so all you prog fans would be well advised to seek this debut out.
1. Let The Race Begin 9:13
2. Whalehead 7:13
3. Salvo 13:33
4. Against The Suns 11:22
5. Walk It Off 11:22
6. Against The Suns (Reprise) 5:10