Staring Into Nothing Power

Album Review: Staring Into Nothing – Power

I am a huge proponent of progressive music, in all shapes and sizes. But what exactly is progressive music. Well… there are the flag bearers in Rush and Yes. There are the soothing sounds of Stephen Wilson and Porcupine Tree. There are the heavier visions of Devin Townsend or Dream Theater. Some have called System of a Down progressive. There is Tool, The Mars Volta, ISIS…Marillion, hell even Metallica has tromped into the progressive realm…. But it’s hard to hit what exactly that term means.

Progressive music is always moving, and has become a bucket for all things 7-minute songs, fancy lyrics and weird time signature. It’s really become a placeholder for things that are really hard to do with instruments, or… ideas that don’t take to the masses easily. I find it to be more of a philosophy for music that is hard to pin down and may take a minute to process before immediately tapping your feet. It’s music for the music lover, and tremendously underrated.

With that being said, progressive music has border lined the pretentious realm as well. This is where we find Staring into Nothing. The band itself is pretty great, the musicianship is spot on, the songs they write can be 4-minute ditties, or 20-minute space-rock operas. It’s when the singer comes into the picture, and the lyrics take hold is where we have the issue. This is shown no better than on their newest record “Power” The 10-song record is filled with artistic exploration of a band looking to take some chances. The record has a definite political bend, and it is shown throughout.

While I am all about bands taking chances, some of the lyrics on the record come out awkward, with the wrong lyrical parameter. Standouts on the album include “The Pendulum”, “Heads and Tails”, and the lead single “Big Brother.” There is also an 18-minute opus on the record entitled “Towers” that offers a beautiful 11-minute opening showcasing wide landscapes, and the blues guitar chops the band has.

Now, as a critic, I have to be honest. However, I am a lover of all things music, and am not one to bash musicianship. It takes balls to stand up in front of people, or put out a record, and show the masses your heart. Power has its merits, and shows a band on the brink of turning a corner, maybe one more album and some incubation time, they can turn press the red button.

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Rock On!
Brian Furman

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