Once and Future Band - Brain

by Ljubinko Zivkovic Rating:8 Release Date:2018-03-09
Once and Future Band - Brain
Once and Future Band - Brain

Usually, you can easily count the reasons an artist/band would come up with an EP. You are introducing yourself, it represents a stop-gap recording before you change direction, you don’t have enough material (yet), or have an overflow of material before you come up with something new.

Well, San Francisco Bay area’s Once and Future Band cannot really be counted as new. They did come up with a self-titled album in 2017. Having heard that one too, it would be hard to say that with their newest EP, Brain, they are changing direction(s). It doesn’t seem that they do not have enough material (luckily), so it looks like they do have some overflow of material. And as it turns out, the Brain EP was actually released a while back as a very limited run but is now getting a fuller release on the back of that well-received album.

So, no overflow, just material that wasn't even overlooked, but something that actually didn't have much of a chance to reach a wider audience. Fortunately, that chance now presents itself.  Based on the spins this EP had in my house, the success of their LP proper is a well deserved one, and it seems that the band and its main man Joel Robinow have quite a few of these in their music library. But that library it seems does not only contain their own material but almost anything that is in some way connected to the Seventies version(s) of psychedelia.

If it sounded good, Robinow, Eli Eckhart, and Raj Ojha have got it!  And then they applied all that vast knowledge to the songs on this EP -  the poppier side of Pink Floyd, ELO, Steely Dan, The Beach Boys, the non-excessive side of Queen and more, it is all here! And usually a few of those things in one song. In essence, a more defined, detailed (and certainly older) version of Lemon Twigs. Actually, having in mind the age and experience, probably vice versa.

All four compositions (rather than songs) presented here running some hefty 24 minutes or so are overflowing with good changing, melodies, and instrumental interplays that some would say swerve into progressive territory, but never cross the line into excessive. It would be hard to say that any fall below a pretty high standard Once and Future Band have set or themselves, with “Older Brain” being the briefest but most impressive track here.

Personally, quite a joy to listen to, with just one question - when is the next album coming?

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