Do you long for the good old days when confidence in our national institutions was at an all-time low, so we fixed our attention on Fonzie and absurdly complex rock music? If so, Druckfarben’s Second Sound is just the record for you.Take a close look at the world around you and it might seem that we’re not far off from where we were in the 1970s. Though we once watched communists topple nonexistent domino chains in Vietnam and Latin America, we’re now seeing the ugly consequences of our debacles in the Middle-East. Our continued abuse of natural ecosystems has made brought the environmental movement back to the center of political debate. Even music seems to have come full circle given the popularity of throwback–style rock bands. Toronto’s Druckfarben, one of the latest examples, has taken on the herculean task of emulating the music progressive rock legends like Yes and Genesis.
Once you get past the band’s silly name and inept album art design, you’ll remark how perfectly they emulate the sounds of the ’70s, right down to the last synth organ, 1/64th note drum kick, and cryptically poetic lyric. Most of the songs last about seven minutes, and the album closes with its 19-minute title track in true prog rock fashion. That being said, Druckfarben still draw upon as many diverse influences as their predecessors. Inklings of jazz, folk, and secondhand classical inspiration shine through the expected syncopated rock guitars and add intriguing fusion flavors. These touches are somewhat surprisingly given their dedication to recreating the works our dads’ favorite bands, and they help sell Druckfarben as more than just single-minded imitators.
Druckfarben’s latest doesn’t do much to push the boundaries considering all that prog rock can be, but fans of classic rock will find plenty of beloved sounds and novel ideas alike on this album.
Favorite tracks: “In Disbelief,” “Surrounds Me,” “Second Sound”