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MUSIC REVIEW: FLYING COLORS – Third Degree

| 15 October 2019 | Reply

Label: Music Theories Recordings

Release Date: October 4, 2019

Rating: 91%

I have always dug what came out of recording sessions from the collective five guys known as Flying Colors, and the bands latest effort is no different.  From the first notes of disc opener “The Loss Inside” you can tell you are about to hear something special.  The way the guitars and keyboards work together underneath the vocals is cool and the rhythm section keeps things anchored nicely.  “More” opens as a guitar-led track, but that quickly shifts as the keyboards join the fray.  The Morse tandem of Steve on guitars and Neal on Keys drive the track.  While more straight forward, the drumming from Mike Portnoy stands out on this track.  “Guardian” is a different track that starts off with some drumming and keyboards and soon each instrument and the vocals swirls gently into the mix.  This is one shows flashes of a pop-rock vein during the chorus that let’s the band show off a slightly different side of their sound.  “Geronimo” opens with a funky-fusion sound that drives the track.  The bass from Dave LaRue stands out, even when the rest of the band kicks in their instrumental portions.  The layered vocals on the chorus are huge and add punch to the track.

“Cadence” unfolds slowly and shows its prog side from the minute the guitars ramp up.  The vocals are a bit softer on this track, but seem to cut through the musical accompaniment.  Casey McPherson perfectly delivers the emotionally charged lyrics.  “Last Train Home” is a beautiful track that drew me in on the first listen and keeps me coming back time and time again.  The lyrics are poignant, the vocals carry the track, while the band paints a gorgeous musical landscape for the vocals to run across.  Be sure to pay close attention to each musician get his moment in the spotlight during the bridge / breakdown.  “You Are Not Alone” is another ballad-like track that shines thanks to the vocals and the musical coupling in the mix.  The guitars are layered beautiful and seem to dance lightly through the song.  My favorite track on the collection, “Love Letter,” has a cool vibe woven into it that gets my foot tapping EVERY time it comes on.  The rock-pop-prog-jazz fusion swirl is magic and really brings the disc to life.  The contagious vocals lead the charge while the band really builds the song up, especially the drums and keyboards.  Disc closer “Crawl” helps tie the disc together with softer facets coupled with rock riffs, soaring keyboard contributions, and the cool drumming and percussion.  Because of the complexity of the different songs on this collection, I recommend listening through a couple times at the piece in its entirety before passing judgement… and then purchasing your own copy!   

Tracklisting: The Loss Inside – More – Cadence – Guardian – Last Train Home – Geronimo – You Are Not Alone – Love Letter – Crawl

Lineup: Casey McPherson (vocals) – Steve Morse (guitars) – Mike Portnoy (drums) – Neal Morse (keyboards / vocals) – Dave LaRue (bass)

FLYING COLORS LINKS:

OFFICIAL SITE

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

THIRD DEGREE – ITUNES

Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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