[Review] Us – Stars In Broad Daylight

Us is a Dutch Progressive Rock band born in the mid 70s as a cover band, and then started composing their own original tracks. They recently announced the entry of keyboardist Peter-Jan Kleevens into the lineup and released the new album. “Stars In Broad Daylight” was released on January 11, 2022 and contains 3 long tracks inspired by the events the world has seen, but also by a personal tragedy of loosing a lifetime companion. The album opens with the title track “Stars in broad daylight” which begins with a fine intertwining of hammond and guitar on a tight rhythmic session full of tempo changes. With the entry of the vocal it develops on a more symphonic style, and then between changes and elaborate plots increase in intensity with the passing of the minutes. An epic track that has keyboards, mainly organ and guitar at the center of the sound, offering strongly 70s-inspired sounds with long instrumental sections. “Carousel” starts with a pompous mellotron and then develops a track with a solid rhythmic session between tempo changes and intricate textures. It’s an energetic track with elaborate passages and good mixes between guitar and keyboards, which certainly add more solutions to the band’s sound. The 70s matrix is felt, as well as the experience of the musicians. The album closes with the longest track “Song for Koen” with over 19 minutes of duration, with a more symphonic imprinting than the previous ones, tracing the sounds of bands like Genesis or YES. The melodic vocal alternates male and female voices, and the keyboards and the guitar offer very elaborate and engaging plots and melodies. An album that contains three long tracks that show all the experience gained over the years by the band, offering a refined 70s-style sound. The final rendering of the mastering in my humble opinion does not enhance the excellent tracks contained in the album, full of interesting ideas and insights. A listening recommended for lovers of Genesis-style Prog sounds, with keyboards at the center of the scene, tempo changes and elaborate textures with good guitar inserts and a solid rhythm session.

Tracklist

1. Stars in broad daylight 18:06
2. Carousel 11:56
3. Song for Koen 19:37

Lineup

Marijke Wernars / Vocals
Paul van Velzen / Drums, Percussion, Vocals
Peter-Jan Kleevens / Hammond B3, Moog Synthesizer, Additional Keys
Jos Wernars / All other Instruments, Vocals and Songwriting

Us |Official Website|Bandcamp|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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