Druckfarben – Old School Prog Rock

There are a three things one should not do on acid …

The first –  drive a moped around the skeleton of a skating rink – with or without ice. The second most inane thing possible?  Listen to ‘ Several Small Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict’ by Pink Floyd.

The third? Listen to the inaugural album by Canadian band Druckfarben.


Unless of course a listener would like to relive the glory days of bands like Yes and Genesis. Then by all means, take a hit or two and brace for a psychedelic journey through the recesses of your mind. Welcome to the Druckfarben zone. It is 1971 and Fragile may be your state of mind …

The band consists of Troy Feener on drums, Peter Murray on vocals and bass, Ed Bernard on guitars, mandolin and vocals, William Hare on keyboards and Phil Naro on vocals. These guys know how to hit a forty – something music fan directly in their memory bank. If a memory still exists.

Yes’ great song ‘Roundabout‘, injects acoustics, a great bass line by Squire and keys into such great harmony, it is no wonder the song hit #13 on the charts for the legendary progressive rock group from England. Druckfarben’s first song, ELPO – continues the journey where Yes stopped their Purple Microdot trip.

ddnaro6Hare’s non – fragile fingers introduce a listener to Murray’s bass and Feener’s drums. Something is building. Something is reaching a crescendo. Suddenly, the bass and Bernard’s guitars settle into a fine machine before a sound unlike a combination of early Rush and Genesis takes control. Free form instrumental grabbing the ears and tossing them into track two.

Influenza will freak even the most hardened hippy out.

Vocalist Phil Naro sounds so much like Ian Anderson on this song, a trip down the corridors of post-Beatle high school takes place with Gentle Giant nearby. The bass is so quick and driving, keyboards so uplifting, the whole of the song is one journey inexplicably contained within itself. Every instrument taking turns. Improving with each toss and indentation of the chord. No stopping now. Pink elephants or not …

‘Smaller Wooden Frog’ starts with a Stanley Kubrick – styled piano intro. Evilness seems near yet the song soon implodes to an anthem. Rising guitar high with hope is soon counter balanced by a bass line. The enemy of the song. The arch-rival. A duel takes place – a tale of two very talented musicians nearing the proximity of their heightened powers. Finally – Naro settles things in much the same fashion as Anderson / Gabriel would have. Naro nears perfection within this gilded band.

‘Dead Play Awake’, the second longest track on the disc at 6:47 sounds familiar. It has a likeable element. Bernard’s guitar is that element. It soars around like a bird on a happy journey. Flying above Naro’s once again impeccable vocals. It appears each song is an epic tale of several years experience through these men who have managed to arrest time in the form of navigating the waters of oh so bad 2013 music.

‘Walk Away’ should not have its own name.

It is a continuation of Dead Play Awake. This is not a knock, it is a component of reality. Dead Play Awake was a tale and Walk Away is the fabulous climatic ending. Druckfarben’s finishing touch. A finale worthy of open arms greeting a sunrise following a black stormy night. The beauty of the band’s ability to toss aside trends and dead – end music executives like pebbles from their shoes.

‘Seems So Real’, the beginning keys – reminiscent of ‘Gravity’ by Max Webster. A little but not really. An acoustic guitar serenades Naro’s voice. An acoustic guitar sets the tone for a soothing serenade only the way this group could. Balladry Druckfarben style …

‘Nat Nayah’ is such a beautiful continuation. With apologies to Naro or perhaps kudos, eyes closed – Ian Anderson is fronting a millennium version of Yes illuminated by illuminating keyboards, strong beats and melodic chord interplay by a guitar ripe with creativity.

If a weak song exists, it is Sons of Anakin. On this album.

A tribulation. A canvas of which to paint tools of the trade winds. It offers nothing new nor old. It exists as is. It exists as a sometime Frank Zappa jam.

Sometimes the end can be the beginning. ‘Nonchalant’ is the start of a career. Druckfarben’s ‘piece of non – resistance.

A mandolin – led force which enters strong and soft. The song will take a breath and suspend it in time. A song for lovers. A period piece for the romantic inclinations stuck too often amid the fog of the world’s imposing ways. Genesis once sang a beautiful song named Ripples.

Druckfarben makes them come back …

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