Wow it’s hard to believe it’s been seven years since the Rocket Scientists’ last album, Oblivion Days. Now in 2006, they re-emerge in a triumphant return with a double CD called Revolution Road. The core of the band now is a trio, Erik Norlander (keyboards), Mark McCrite (guitarist/ vocalist) and Don Schiff (NS/Stick & Chapman Stick). They’re augmented by three drummers including the late Shaun Guerin (on ‘Better View‘), Greg Bissonette & Simon Phillips and a second vocalist, David McBee.
This is the band’s fourth studio album that combines musical elements of their past combined with some elements of outside projects during their hiatus. The end result is a nice blend of hard progressive rock with some pop and symphonic touches throughout.
I must admit I was at odds with the addition of another singer, since Mark has fronted the band since it‘s beginnings. Then after many close listens, I warmed up to David McBee‘s vocal works on the album.
Of the vocal based songs, the highlights to me are McBee‘s vocals, on “Sky Is Falling” and “Dream In Red” which provide the album‘s heavier moments. On McCrite’s’ vocals on ‘Better View’ and “Savor Every Moment”, both have a soft - comforting and uplifting vibe to both the music and lyrics.
Now the instrumentals to me are always a high point of any Rocket Scientists albums, mainly because they showcase the band‘s abilities to flex out their musical muscle. My favorites are the epic closing song, “After the Revolution”,“Ptolemy” (a song about a famous scientist, which is a band tradition) and a progged out sci-fi theme (a new tradition, started on Oblivion Days), this time, 'UFO (S.H.A.D.O. Theme)'. [Since it's a Sci-Fi tradition, then perhaps on the next album they can do their version of the Doctor Who theme (hint hint).]
As always, the CD contains an informative booklet, this time it’s 28 pages featuring extensive production notes by keyboards/composer/producer Erik Norlander As always the band always pleases their fans with spectacular music played with grace and style. One thing I like about the band, is they believe the music comes first and never over indulge in needless solos nor do they stretch out songs for the sake of being ‘prog’.
In closing, if you’re a fan of the band’s previous works as well as their solo efforts, you’ll undoubtedly will enjoy Revolution Road. I would recommend this to those new to the band that enjoy the more assessable sing of progressive rock. In my humble opinion, Revolution Road, is one of the better releases of 2006.
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on December 2nd, 2006