Sunday, February 17, 2013

By the Bull - Ghosts and Prophecies

By the Bull is a rare beast of a band…  one that combines ambition, talent, and-most of all- heart into an explosive cocktail of incredible driven rock.  The baby of the insanely talented guitarist and pianist Nick Brewer, this band delivers some of the most memorable music I’ve heard. 

The album starts out with two incredibly forceful and driving progressive rock jams steadied by the impressive drumming of Jonathan Palance and bass work of Matt Buck.  These two guys provide the perfect heavy rhythmic accompaniment while Brewer shreds through some impressive guitar solos and nice vocal moments. 

Brewer is also the vocalist, and he has a truly unique voice.  The best comparison for vocals is Thomas Erak of the now-defunct The Fall of Troy.  It’s not for everyone, but if you can get on board with them it provides an amazing auditory experience.   Nick has a better voice than Erak, in my opinion, but it’s still very different than most front-men you’d hear.  It’s breathy and honest feeling. 
The album takes a surprising twist with “The Golden Rule”.  With percussive bells in the background of the music, By the Bull takes their prog and adds some indie sensibility.  Combined with the superb drumming of Palance on this track, it truly works. 

However, this band hits a homerun with the fourth track.  The Push is one of my top ten favorite songs of all time.  That’s not hyperbole.  It gets absolutely lodged in my brain.  This jazzy, gorgeous, sensual ballad just absolutely soars. 

The droning acoustic guitar combined with the latin-style percussion leads to some amazing piano work that really highlights all of the amazing things this band can do. 

After that, the album goes back to heavy rock, with harmonic distortion and tons of guitar tom-foolery.  All aggressive, all gorgeous, all heavy, all great. 

Every track on this album is a gem to me.  You owe it to yourself to give this band a listen.  They’re phenomenal, and I look forward to more releases from By the Bull.  There is a ton of beauty here. 

These are supremely talented musicians combined with obviously great hearts and souls.  They’ve created a complete masterpiece of an album. 

Top of the class honors from The Professor. 

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