You know that Prog–as a genre–is healthy and thriving when a band can devote itself to what it calls “progressive rock exercise.” Yes, I’m not joking. Yesterday, a review copy of a new cd, Sadness and Companionship, arrived from Seattle in the Progarchy mailbox.
The CD consists of four songs–two 14-plus minute songs and a radio-length remix of each.
How to describe this? I’ve only given it one listen, but it’s. . . fun. Really fun. Imagine a lot of mid-80s acts such as Madness, Yaz, Erasure, B-Movie, or Pet Shop Boys, and then prog them up.
A card accompanying the CD states:
Johnny Unicorn has been making progressive rock, art pop, and silly music since childhood. He currently operates out of Seattle, WA, where he performs with his three-piece band, which is made up of songwriter Jesse Plack, and keyboardist Naomi Adele Smith (Autumn Electric). Johnny Unicorn also performs and recordes with Phideaux (L.A.) and Horace Pickett (Seattle).
The packaging, by the way, is rather charming. The cd packaging incorporates lots of houndstooth mixed with bright yellows, funny glasses, vicious looking animals, and what appears to be a Darwinian evolutionary chart from fish to man to alien to death to devils. I wouldn’t decorate my house in it, but I do like it. It’s playfully quirky.