When the Polish band newspaperflyhunting released Iceberg Soul in 2014, to my ears it was a shot across the bow of prog, which maybe needed a little hard striving to bust out of the templates. The album was an original in a widening landscape littered with knockoffs, so while their sound skimmed Pink Floyd and the Velvet Underground, Mazzy Star and modern metal, their song structures, melodies, and presentation were a strong reminder of prog’s roots: a playground for the far out and unexpected, combining psychedelia, improvisation, and musics new and old, with a focus on riffs and the straight-up sonic power of rock’s stomp. This was not a music to be sequestered unto itself, and reminds me how the Soft Machine cut their teeth opening for Jimi Hendrix, and Yes was as likely to be paired with Iron Butterfly, or Rush with ZZ Top, as with strictly like-minded souls.
“Through the Lurking Glass” is representative of the rest of Iceberg Soul, which is unfussy and melodically rich, a dark stage lit by accents like Fender Rhodes piano and an innocent, plaintive vocal approach which is improved by its Polish tilt. It’s an utterly unique record. Along with the work of Gazpacho, newspaperflyhunting is the best argument I can find for the continuing vitality of progressive rock.
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