Population II – C.T.Q.S.
Genre: Psychedelic Rock, Indie Rock, Garage Rock
With prog-rock making an unexpected mainstream comeback, Population II run equipped with skill, desire and a back-breaking collection of sheet music.
The rise, fall and rise back up of prog-rock says a lot about people’s tastes and their attention spans over the past half-century. Capable of getting classical music to sound like anthemic rock n’ roll, bands like Rush, Genesis, Pink Floyd or Yes, achieved tremendous success in the 1970s, selling out stadiums across the world and competing against groups that took the traditional route of writing songs about girls and cars.
But by the late 1970s, prog-rock had slipped out of vogue. Those who still enjoyed this genre kept their preference hidden in the way that a sexual deviant might hide their pleasures from their family. The famous prog-rock musicians who still had to make payments on their cars began making pop music. It was easier, it reached more people, but it required better clothes and haircuts.
But prog-rock is making a comeback, albeit in a quirky, slightly ironic form. Population II take full advantage of the license to inject some musical complexity into dreamy pop grooves, as can be heard on “C.T.Q.S.” This certainly involves a meeting point between commercial and artistic desires. But unlike the original prog musicians that went pop, Population II sound like they are enjoying themselves and are fully committed.
Forge the Sun – Prelude
Genre: Progressive Rock
For a brief moment in time, becoming a prog-rock musician seemed like a real career path. After all, during the 1970s, such bands, the kind that could make a one-song concept album, sold out arenas across the world and released platinum-selling albums. And, hey, if becoming a prog-star didn’t work, there was always work in an orchestra somewhere.
Things have changed. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Even farther back, centuries ago, the only way one could hear music was if they were rarely fortunate to hear someone playing it during a celebration or if they played it themselves. Consequently, a lot of people learned to play music to entertain themselves and others without the ambition of making money or being regarded as an artist.
Forge the Sun have painstakingly worked to acquire great abilities for musical expression, as can be heard in “Prelude.” While the multi-faceted composition is certainly no easy listening material, this is how the group wants it. They’ve spent time building a world for themselves and populating it according to their wishes. Your entry ticket involves your commitment to listen closely. It might take you a moment accustom yourself to using this kind of attention, but it may well be worth the effort.