[Review] Isobar – Isobar

Isobar is a Progressive Rock band from San Jose, California formed in 2020. The lineup includes Jim Anderson, Malcolm Smith and Marc Spooner from the American band Metaphor, Mattias Olsson of Änglagård on drums. Their self-titled and self-produced debut album was released on August 14, 2020 and contains 13 medium-length entirely instrumental tracks, which also featured some brass guests. The band’s sound is a Progressive Rock characterized by a solid rhythmic session, with elaborate drum passages and with well-structured constant tempo changes. The keyboards are the supporting instrument as regards the melodies, despite the presence of the winds which is an added value. The bass also plays a fundamental role creating load-bearing and sometimes intricate lines that together with the drum give life to that solid rhythmic session we were talking about before. The themes of the pieces are always well developed and performed, showing a good technique and a notable mastery of the instruments by the musicians involved. The combination of the classic sounds of Prog with the modern ones is very successful, also giving a personal touch to the sound, full of quality ideas. A sliding album, where we find all those elements that are expected when approaching a listening to Prog Rock in fact. A well-balanced mix of melancholic melodies, symphonic openings and other more powerful and pompous, with intricate parts in which the individual technique of the musicians is displayed. A convincing album and a pleasant listening in all its entirety, without ever losing incisiveness, a mature work that bodes well for future releases. Overall it is a disc recommended for lovers of Prog sounds, which despite being entirely instrumental is still an accessible and fluent listening. As much as heard on this album, it will be interesting to hear these tracks played live as I found this album engaging already in its studio version.

Tracklist

1. Weekend of Mammals (4:17)
2. Control Mouse (4:28)
3. Major Matt Mason (4:57)
4. Off the A6 (5:32)
5. Dinky Planet (6:32)
6. Mais Daze (3:26)
7. New Math (3:45)
8. 79¢ (5:07)
9. Dinner Ain’t Ready (5:07)
10. Elves Are Go! (4:10)
11. AP Alchemy (9:22)
12. Uncanny, The (3:37)
13. Isobars (5:26)

Lineup

Jim Anderson / Bass
Malcolm Smith / Guitars
Marc Spooner / Keyboards

With:

Mattias Olsson / Drums

Featuring:
Evan Weiss / Trumpet (2, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13)
Ben Bohorquez / Saxophone (2, 6, 8, 10, 13)
Lonnie Cory / Trumpet (4, 5, 7)
Tony Abena / Saxophone (4, 5, 7)

Isobar |Official Website|Bandcamp|Facebook Page|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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