Father Figure – Heavy Meddlers (2014)

“It’s alive! It’s alive!”

Yes, friends, it appears the dead may have been reborn. The seminal era of progressive rock was a milestone in rock history, an ideological turning point where heavy tempo, key and rhythm experimentation were suddenly a desired motif. Songs became exhibitions; albums became elaborate journeys.

In a sense, progressive rock was the great bubbling primordial soup that would eventually synthesize later lineages such as kraut-rock, post punk and math rock. Bands like King Crimson, Yes, Jethro Tull, Wishbone Ash and The Moody Blues created the building blocks for these contemporary innovations. Here, it appears we have remnants of those primeval molecules that were stewing in that original organic lagoon. Perhaps rather ironically, they are called Father Figure.

In Heavy Meddlers, their incredible sophomore album, all the quintessentials of progressive rock are here: meticulous and unabridged soundscapes, a rich array of instruments, elongated interludes, and extremely disjunctive melodies flowing harmoniously like river water. Compositions like ‘March Of The Rare Bird’, ‘Schizophenzy’, and ‘Ascension’ are as mercurial as a Pentecostal priest speaking in tongues. Trumpets squeal in ‘Bolt From The Blue’, keys invigorate in ‘Malingerer’ and strings add a poignant undertone in ‘Undercover Magister’.

Heavy Meddlers is a pastiche of early progressive rock escapades, a special recapitulation of a special time in rock history. In substance, it is much like its cover art: strangely sensual, slightly bewildering, but genuinely astonishing.

File Under

Progressive rock, math rock, jazz, fusion, instrumental, experimental

Sounds A Tad Like

King Crimson, Yes, inside//outside


$5US (Bandcamp)