Band Website: www.belugaband.com
Label: Independent Release
Release Date: 2013
If you thought the Progressive Rock genre was overly serious and didn’t have any room for the absurd you may want to check out the new album from the Spanish band Beluga entitled Architecture of the Absurd. The band is made up of Razl (guitars, vocals and voices all around, ukulele, pedal toys), Lorenzo Matellan (keyboards, synths, soundries), Damian Erskine (bass) and Marco Minnemann (drums). In some ways this is a return to prog roots for both Razl and Matellan and as such it’s loaded with some amazing sounds that come of like Gentle Giant mixed with Frank Zappa all constructed and performed with a distinct sense of…well…the absurd.
Architecture of the Absurd clocks in at forty-two minutes featuring seven tracks all between five and seven minutes. What’s interesting is how these compositions came together. A core theme or melody was totally embellished with bits and pieces that members would bring into the studio – almost a modular thing. It gives these tunes, which are all up-beat, jaunty, complex and ever changing and kind of revolving musical door approach. Things are always changing, you think a new song has started but it’s just the next bit of the same song. All songs are stitched together by riffs or themes that resurface at different points to remind you of where you are. In the end, all the Progressive Rock elements are in place from short succinct guitar solos, keyboard lead lines, including Mellotron sounds, to all kinds of rhythmic counterpoint. Speaking of which I mentioned at the outset the sound is like mashing Gentle Giant together with Frank Zappa. Well I’d throw in a hint of the Canterbury feel as well.
This is one of those records where the odd-nature of the sound is what captivated me and kept me coming back. Beluga know how to rock, there’s no question about that, but they also have so many musical ideas that they throw into their work that it takes it to a completely different level. Architecture of the Absurd is certainly an amazing disc that will appeal to prog fans of many musical stripes.