California Neo Proggers Rocket Scientists return with their first new recording in six years, "Supernatural Highways" a 30 minute instrumental EP.
Taking a break from his solo career, keyboardist Erik Norlander has regrouped his former band to mark the 20th Anniversary of their first album "Earthbound" from 1993.
He is once again joined by Mark McCrite on guitars and Don Schiff on Chapman stick, NS and cello. Rounding out the lineup are guests Gregg Bissonette (drums), Greg Ellis (percussion), Jon Papenbrook (trumpet),
Eric Jorgensen (trombone) and Lana Lane (vocal pads).
The first track, "Traveler on the Supernatural Highways" is broken up into seven parts and is 26 mins of Neo Symphonic Prog that starts off grabbing you right away and transporting you through the mind of Norlander.
Not surprisingly its focused heavily on keyboards with guitar, stick and drums backing up the sounds in a layered manner Norlander is known for presenting to his listeners.
At first you might think the band is taking you into a symphonic then space rock vibe, but half way into the track the drums change beat and you are pushed towards a more jazz driven Prog interspersed with funky guitar riffs
and a Latin feel.
The second track, entitled "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" is the bands take on the classic James Bond theme. It starts with horns and string vocals which are provided by Erik's wife, Lana Lane. It also includes some nice moog and heavy guitar. It is only slightly over 4 minutes in length but don't judge a track by it's size as it is also bombastic and aggressive and the addition of trumpet and trombone makes it an entirely different animal from the longer first track.
Housed in a lovely 6 panel digipak, "Supernatural Highways" is geared to entice those that appreciate good keyboard driven instrumental Neo Prog.
Reviewed by John Longo on August 19th, 2014