Spygenius and Once & Future Band


Spygenius “‘Pacéphale”

The ever inventive pop band Spygenius changes its chameleon colors over and over on the latest LP pronounced “pah-seh-fahl.” It’s a French word that means “headless” with a “P” added to it. The P is a nod to Pataphysics. The lovely start of “Shall I Show You My Mirror” opens to a chorus with compelling harmonies and catchy hook that sticks. It’s followed by the beatnik blues rock of “Backdoor Son of Man” and turns again on the subdued Robyn Hitchcock-like “Heathen.”

While the band’s eclectic style is refreshing, a few tunes here really standout. “The Friendly Stars That Glow” is a jangle pop gem, “Eucalyptus & Cigarettes” has a lovely baroque composition and “And Her Snakes Were Decked With Smiles” is a bouncy bit of English power pop. Even though the LP is all over the place, that sense of fun and melody is never far behind. Highly Recommended.


Once and Future Band

Once & Future Band “Once & Future Band”

I rarely review a prog rock band unless I hear something special. But this debut by Oakland’s Once & Future Band reminded me a lot of Dynamo Bliss, with its incredible opener “How Does It Make You Feel?” which is like Jon Anderson of Yes mixed with Schnauser. “I’ll Be Fine” is similar to a 10cc-Pink Floyd epic ballad with terrific effects and overdubbed guitar that shreds brilliantly through the song.

The album quickly goes mellow after these opening songs, despite a synth and bass jazz-inflected gem “Rolando,” it never picks up that early momentum. But just finding this style of prog rock with its craftsmanship is always a welcome treat. I just wish there was more, but I would still recommend you check this out.