Kazyak - Odyssey - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Kazyak - Odyssey

by Bill Golembeski Rating:9 Release Date:2019-08-16
Kazyak - Odyssey
Kazyak - Odyssey

This is great psych-prog from my neighboring state of Minnesota. Let’s be blunt: Lovers of Pink Floyd, circa Meddle and Dark Side of the Moon, will hear echoes of that wonderous sound. And a heavenly dose of wah-wah guitar surfs the sonic waves of every song on the album. Yes, the guitar work is sublime. My brainy syntaxes haven’t had this much fun since first hearing Blind Faith’s “Presence of the Lord.”

And, perhaps it’s just my preference, but any album that opens with a comment, “What is the meaning of the virgin birth?” is aces in my book, just for the sudden credence given to such a random idea. The first song, “Controvertical,” has the languid Floyd vibe and floats in the beauty of its own vapor trail. Voices, half hidden in the dense sound, flutter in an out. I half expected to hear someone say, “Give him a short sharp shove.” But instead, the statement “This is the opening of compassion” rises from the misty grooves. Trust me: This one is just a dreamy-voiced song that oozes its wah-wah way into the very pleasant vibrations of the cerebral cortex.

Yeah, this is brain fuel!

“Discover” is more direct. In fact, Peter Frey (the main guy in the band) sings like (the great) Peter Gabriel in his “Biko” voice, while the guitars continue to caress the cosmos with an amazing audio Arora Borealis light show of sonic beauty.

And tunes emerge with great melodies. “Paperbird” is a prime example: The music continues to color the landscape, but the chorus floats on an extremely friendly gust of wind. “Camouflage” has a strong melody with a guitar that grumbles a bit. The vocals remind me of The Buffalo Springfield. That’s a great thing to do! And then those guitars stampede with a sonic psych rush. “Zombie Dream” slows things and then erupts with a Pink Floyd-like euphoric dreamscape melody. This song, just like the best music, spins with the hue any colour you like. It’s beautiful sunrise stuff.

“Smoke Jumper” is riff magical rock music. The vocals soar with Crosby, Stills & Nash harmony. And then the guitar bleeds the heavens dry, while at the same time begs for rain. For some odd reason, good rock music does that all the time.

“Rocket” is a brief psych-rock jumble, with clever moving parts that seldom feel the need to nest.

The final song, “Be the Sun,” is truly a coat of many colors, as it melodically drifts from universe to universe. Keyboards play with time. They swirl. They pout. They sparkle. The vocals sing to the stars. There are odd voices that ground the tune to the geography of planet Earth. The song has a pulse that pursues the final grooves of a very beautiful (but never ear candy!) rock ‘n’ roll record.

This record is called Odyssey. That’s a very human trip. It sings with Siren charm, and it is warm with a lotus loll.

The band recorded the album live in the studio. Yes, indeed, that live passion vibrates in the vinyl grooves. And the band’s website says they are “channeling…themes…from Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth. Well (the great) Joseph Campbell once said, “We are kept out of the Garden by own fear and desire in relation to what we think to be the goods of our life.”1

And yes, in some magical sonic manner, this music opens the Garden for a few moments. Joni Mitchell sang, “And we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden” in her song, “Woodstock.” It’s sort of like that. Trust me (again!) There are no “short sharp shoves” here; rather there’s melodic music that simply sings with cozy colors of warm compassion, colors that are buoyant upon the waves of cerebral psych-prog with wah-wah peddled wings. This album is a mantra of great rock music.


1 Please read Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth at least once in your lifetime!




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