This is my first, Sanguine Hum release that is! What a pleasant surprise it is too! I have heard so much about this band and somehow I missed their debut ” Diving Bell ” ! The beautiful opening of “From The Ground Up” with the silky smooth vocals, reminds me of MEW (Danish Prog) the music though, shows signs of more complex and sometimes more mature songwriting skills, this fine band also master the often time signature loaded themes with excellence. After a few listens you realize that their sound really is very commanding, drawing you into their soundscape, their maze like build up, of one moment laidback almost soothing popish tunes only to crash into heavier and complex territory right around the “corner”. I guess this release is true to the term progressive, even though many (including yours truly) will insist that everything we love and like are prog, even though much of the music today and then are static, as in “non progression” (contradiction in terms, if ever there was one!)..but that´s a whole nother story! Musically these guys style are often in the Zappa/Gentle Giant mould, vocally they´re very much (did I mention MEW?) pop music like and that blend works wonders! What do I mean by pop like vocals, well there are no screaming lead vocals, not even a roar, but there some very excellent beautiful, sometimes even dreamy (“Phosfor”) vocals, that could have been from one of the early Ambrosia albums! Now don’t get me wrong, the dualism I mention isn’t always, sometimes as on “Phosfor” and parts of “The Weight Of The World”, the music are as smooth, silky and beautiful as the vocals!! Another thing id like to mention, this band doesn’t rely on “old” musical tricks, such as long and elaborate keyboard washes and /or high flying guitar soli (nothing wrong with that!!) they have chosen mostly to use intervals of marimba, glockenspiel (samples or keys?) bass, drums, acoustic guitars & programming. Yes there are electric guitars, hear the last part of “The Weight Of The world”!!
I am not sure whether you can actually hum to Sanguine (ok.. ok.. cheap shot!) but you certainly can enjoy their special brand of progressive rock, I know I did!! Now I really must hear their first album!