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Pattern-Seeking Animals – Only Passing Through

Pattern-Seeking Animals
Only Passing Through
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 07 March 2022, 2:42 PM

Los Angeles-based quartet PATTERN-SEEKING ANIMALS have sometimes erroneously been perceived as a concept more than a band. This is set to change as they get ready to release their third album, titled “Only Passing Through. With a line-up as enticing as any in the crossed-over worlds of Prog and Pop, they have now matured into a sought-after and coveted act that is set to be an important profile on the Progressive scene in 2022. The new album contains eight tracks.

“Everdark Mountain” leads off the album. It begins with easy-listening tones from clean guitars and keys. The vocals are also fairly benign, until the band turns it up in the chorus. The short solo after the second chorus pushes the melody further. “I Can’t Stay Here Anymore” is a darker offering, opening with bass guitar notes and some playful keyboards. The band shows their chops here in a series of meter shifts as well as heavy accents here and there. The keyboard and lead guitar exchange is excellent.  “Time Has a Way” is a thirteen-minute beast. It begins with a heavy and flirting dose of keys and piano notes, as well as a few other instruments, like trumpet for example. Once again, bassist Dave Meros shows how you are to handle the instrument. The opening jam here is full of prowess, but the melody is the star of the show, as they are playful and uplifting. A key change at the ten-minute mark ushers in more brightness. The message is positive…all things can heal and pass with time.

“Rock Paper Scissors” is a shorter and prettier affair, beginning with dreamy tones and some stark lyrics. Vocalist Ten Leonard goes for broke in the final stanza, showing his more emotive side. “Much Ado” begins with a funky groove of guitars, bass and drums before keyboards come in and wash it all clean. The lively and mischievous melodies will get you off your feet and throw down with some dance moves, as smooth as silk, and as tight as spandex. “Only Passing Through” is a shorter song with melancholy tones reminiscent of a point in your past when you were unsure where you were headed. Is this a statement on life itself? “Said the Stranger” is a slightly heavier affair, from thumping bass notes and some staccato guitars that meld time with all of the accuracy of a seasoned watchmaker. They spacey keyboard solo and guitar solos are fantastic as well. “Here with You and Me” closes the album. The groove here is both positive and inspiring. The bass guitar floats around with perfectly places notes and the vocal harmonies are beguiling and crushing. What a lovely closing song.

Ushering in the magic of old school Progressive Rock bands like RUSH, GENESIS, KANSAS, and TOTO into modern Rock landscapes, “Only Passing Through” is both fun to listen to and playfully melodic. The band clearly have more than a “passing” relationship with their instruments (including the vocals), but they don’t let that Progressive wankery color their palate. Instead, the compositions are just a little more concise…well, as concise as they could be for the style of course…with just enough personal and unique elements. This was a very pleasing offering from the quartet.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Everdark Mountain
2. I Can’t Stay Here Anymore
3. Time Has a Way
4. Rock Paper Scissors
5. Much Ado
6. Only Passing Through
7. Said the Stranger
8. Here with You with Me
Lineup:
John Boegehold – Keyboards, Programming, Production
Ted Leonard – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Dave Meros – Bass, Vocals
Jimmy Keegan – Drums, Vocals
Record Label: InsideOut Music
     


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