"Murals" By The Past (Lexington, KY)/Prog Rock/Released 2014
Central Kentucky trio The Past was formed in 2007 around the talents of singer-guitarist Michael Tyree, bassist JT Butcher, and drummer Drew Charron. It wouldn’t be until 2014 however when the band released not one but two debut records. Transcending Consciousness and Murals, the latter of which is featured here. With a live show that incorporates audio samples, psychedelic visuals on a projection screen, and dazzling musicianship The Past has been growing their fan base at a steady pace with each performance.
The Past is aptly named for their strong influence from the prog rock giants of previous eras such as Genesis, Porcupine Tree, and Pink Floyd. While the genre is known for it’s strong focus on adept musicianship, the trio finds a happy balance between displays of virtuosity and accessible song writing. This middle ground allows the group to spark interest in casual music listeners and those of more discriminating tastes alike.
The seven track album begins with the record’s shorter and more conventional compositions. Opening song “Waves” is notable for its unique effects-laden main riff and Santana-esque soloing. “Time Moves Too Fast” is the album’s shortest song clocking in at just over four minutes and features a memorable chorus with a distinct reggae tinged section. “This World I Dream” puts a larger focus on groove with the play of bassist JT Butcher standing out strongly on the track. “Pride” begins the more “proggy” half of the album and is the longest song clocking in at over eight minutes. The track is very reminiscent of Rush’s work with all three instruments showing great interplay during the longer instrumental sections of the song and a sampled speech is featured in the latter half of the track. “Listen True” brings things back to more conventional territory and is another song that’s more vocal-centric with another strong chorus featured.”Take Me Back To Nowhere” is one of the more dramatic compositions with several section changes and song dynamics being used. Closing track “I Thought I Could Change The World” is another eight minute epic that blends all aspects of the trio’s sound into one great composition. An overall fast paced track that employs keys, another earworm chorus, and blistering guitar work that makes for my favorite instrumental expose of the album.
While The Past takes obvious influence from the artists of yesteryear the band puts enough of their own spin on the prog rock sound to be their own entity. Enough melody to be accessible and more than enough pure talent to wow listeners. The well recorded and produced Murals is an excellent show case of the band’s skill and is a must listen for music fans who enjoy complexity as well as something to sing along to in their collection.