Posts Tagged ‘avant-garde’

New Sophe Lux EP ‘Hungry Ghost’

The most important thing I can say about (and to) Sophe Lux is this: get your ass in a studio and put out a full-blown rock opera now!

These guys totally get it. And by “it” I mean the concept of modern music as serious art that still manages to entertain; something Freddie Mercury and Bryan Ferry and Peter Gabriel and I suppose even Peter Hammill got a long time ago. Gwynneth Haynes needs to credit Kate Bush’s muse in the liner notes of anything she ever records though – seriously, even if the resemblance is unintentional. That aside, this is about ten minutes of outstanding theatrical rock that lasts considerably longer, mostly because the two tracks on this EP will replay several times before you become a little concerned about attracting flies to your gaping mouth and pop the thing out of your CD player. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard such enthusiastically faithful attention paid to the critical factors that make serious theatrical rock work really well; with the ‘Hungry Ghost’ EP we get to witness what could become the birth of a new art rock classic if these guys can take it another step and use the EP to launch a full-length follow-up. I’m hoping they will.

I’ve read about these guys on various websites, a couple of trade mags, and even their own propaganda outlets, but the words don’t do justice to the music. Check them out on youTube if nothing else.

Lyrically both songs on this EP tilt heavily left; that is, if you consider taking umbrage at the past eight years and what they have wrought on America and her place in the world social order to be left-leaning. Haynes gets right to the point in the opening chords: “America she dreams, cracking at the seams; she ain’t what she used to be.” This is a skewering castigation of petulant arrogance and hubris as a nation employing a situational value system lumbers inevitably toward the disruptive change that must occur to restore harmonic balance. Sophe Lux deliver with panache and admirable showmanship, all the while making sure the message is not lost in the swirl of pageantry. Dead-on and breathtaking.

“Sophia Song”, on the other hand, is the rebirth: “the pendulum swings, and like begets like.” Briana Ratterman’s lush piano strokes dominate like dew and the overwhelming scent of freshness dominate a spring morning. The plodding rhythm and marshal drums paint a demon-and-dark skyline, but Haynes’ words and Ratterman’s piano float off Ken Yates’ persistent guitar riffs to draw chaos back to order in what will inevitably become the lead-in to the postlude of this rock opera I’ve already constructed in my head.

A tantalizing taste of what could be, Sophe Lux’ ‘Hungry Ghost’ EP channels the art rock greats of my youth and uses them to paint a new musical canvas for a generation with far more to worry about. The only thing that remains to do is finish the story and commit it to sound. Call me Gwynneth, we’ll do lunch.

Very highly recommended.

Sophe Lux