Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Freedom To Glide

Good evening progheads!  I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday, spent in a way that makes you truly happy and extremely thankful.  By now everyone should be past the proverbial "tryptophan coma" and hungry for some progressive rock--I know I am.

I spent the past week climbing over some strange stuff here in the closet...listening for something new and exciting; something that would add to my prog pleasure as I continue my journey searching for new prog sounds.  The quality of the music, differing styles, focused musicians, exceptional writing, and just plain prog talent has made me all at once sated and ravenous for more...

So this week I found myself ear to speaker with the music from a band called Freedom to Glide.  The name paints a picture for me of musicians not afraid to take a risk and do their own thing; a willingness to put themselves out there for the listener to decide.  Freedom to Glide is also a an opportunity to soar...so let's have a listen and see what Freedom to Glide is all about.

I start my listening feast with a song called "Rain Part I."  The opening riff has the strong aroma of Pink Floyd with a dash of both Uriah Heep and Porcupine Tree filling my head...hmmm....this is intriguing.  The song starts out subtle enough with the guitar drawing you into a smooth fusion of keyboards and drums intended to set you up for the lyrics.  A deep song about war, soldiers, and soldiering that pulls on your emotions both for what Freedom to Glide is singing about and how well they pull it off.  The sound comes together in a way that puts you in the middle of the action--you are on a battlefield in a surreal kind of way; the music carries you over the top of the action as you watch things unfold...all the while being carried on the strength of the guitar.

With my expectations suddenly raised I make my second selection from what I hope is an amazing buffet, and "When the Whistle Blows" does not disappointment.  Another strong hint of Floyd here and I get the sense Freedom to Glide has a personal stake in the war theme.  Like most progheads I am very familiar with theme and concept albums, but this takes it to a new level.  "When the Whistle Blows" hits you in the gut like the pain of realizing you are waving good-bye to a loved one for the last time.  The military sound of the percussion leading the guitar and the keyboards down into the abyss that is the soul of the song...a unique experience to say the least.

Liner Notes...Freedom to Glide is the brainchild of Pete Riley on keyboards, piano, vocals, sampling, and programming, and Andy Nixon on electric and acoustic guitar, vocals, bass, and drum programming.  Both are former members of the the Pink Floyd tribute band Dark Side of the Wall--and suddenly the sound origins make sense.  However; Freedom to Glide is not your average prog band.  As the liner notes suggest, Pete and Andy lay tracks separately and collaborate electronically (hence the programming credits) via the Internet and compact disc. Although it sounds  a bit "Orwellian," I assure you progheads--at least from my taste of the music this week--their sound is not cold, unemotional, or just assembled noise.  Once the music of Freedom to Glide seeps into your head, it moves down your spine and travels through your extremities, where it starts to ooze out through your pores...

My third selection is a track called, "Hypnotized."  Another deep thought provoker, this tune mellows its way in and you feel as though you are coming off a sedative; the music in the background has that "rising through the water until you break the surface" urgency and calmness all-at-once kinda feel.  The guitar picks up where the keys leave off...mellow yet awakening if that makes sense.  The vocals poke you in the ribs delicately--the Pink Floyd influence shows through once again.  This is a song I played four times just to make sure I squeezed out all it had to offer.

The selection below is the earlier reviewed cut, "Rain Part I."  I posted this for a few reasons, but mainly because there are not too many options out there that truly paint the picture I am trying to put on this canvas. Freedom to Glide seems to enjoy the thought process behind making the music as much as they like the finished product that is the music. The lyrics are deep and the music wraps around the words like the crust on a pot pie; you like both individually but together they are perfection.  You can learn more about Freedom to Glide by checking out their website freedomtoglide.comr

Now that the last page of the calendar is in full view I realize how fast the sand really does flow through the hourglass...and I am doing my best to slow it down.  Alas; no such luck...so what felt like eight hours was actually seven days going by and I am swimming against the tide.  At this rate next week will be here tomorrow so I need to get back in the music closet and search out more new and different sounds...soothing, exciting, calming, stirring, and of course--prog.  Until next week...

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