I played this for an indie-curious friend
of mine who had absolutely no knowledge of the band. His comment:
"This sounds like Rush, man."
And of course, he was right. The spacey guitars, the soaring vocals,
the over-reaching, pompous, prog-rock atmosphere -- this is Rush
without Geddy's annoying, whiney voice (which, somehow, after a hundred
spins of 2112, we've managed to accept). No, drummer John-Robert
Conners isn't Neil Peart (always the first thing anyone asks when a band
is compared to the mighty Canadian trio), but his stickwork is more than
adequate, and at times just as good. Meanwhile, vocalist Stephen Brodsky
resembles a polished Tommy Shaw, a la Cornerstone-era Styx.
Add to that the fact that five of the eight tracks are over five minutes
long (Track 6, "Requiem," spans an epic nine minutes), and
you've got all the makings of the next generation of prog rock heroes.
Hard to believe these guys used to be a metal band when they formed in
April '95. Brodsky, 21, talks like a guy who's proud to have outgrown his
metal roots to become a conventional, mainstream frontman. They
point to Zeppelin and Floyd as influences (Rush was curiously missing).
The question is, can they deliver like the prog champions of old on stage,
where it always really mattered? Only time will tell, and only middle-aged
radio programmers will decide if Jupiter is appropriate alongside the
fossilized proggers like King Crimson and Yes.
It's about time there was a new King on the FM.