RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Flying Colors  - Second Nature

Rating: B+

A band that includes guitarist Steve Morse, drummer Mike Portnoy, Neal Morse and bass player Dave LaRue is only going to release intelligent, complex music that can only garner positive reviews.  It may be biochemical, but these guys are simply incapable of generating musical compositions that anyone could ever describe as ‘sucking.’  It just ain’t going to happen.  Even if they were sick, tired, burned-out or even jaded beyond repair, you put this much talent in a room then something damn good is going to emerge.  They could remake disco songs and it would kick ass.  Now, with the band Flying Colors, they have once again released a musical slab of brilliance, this time around titling the batch of tunes “Second Nature”.  My point exactly, it is their second nature to be great…maybe it is just their nature to be that way period.

Vocalist and the only non-famous member of Flying Colors, Casey McPherson, does a wonderful job on the band’s sophomore effort.  There is nothing wrong with this music as it is enough Prog to excite a diehard ELP fanatic.  It is enough rock to keep guitar fans going, and what LaRue and Portnoy do is just sick when it comes to complex rhythm sections.  They mix new sounds with old, and they play their collective asses off.  They are having fun doing it, and they are giving it their all.

The only negative that I can relay is that the band may be rushing things a bit much.  Just an observation, as they thrive on the free-form jazzy type of attitude, and they do it well... but one wonders if these guys had more time to compose, to really create a cerebral worked-out effort, what they would come up with.  My bet is that it would be amazing.  It may, however, lose some of that magic that can only come from players of this caliber thinking fast and living on the musical edge.

This seems to be an effort comprised of mixing modern technology with well crafted musicology.  It works.  The more this band is allowed to be together the better they will become.  Let’s enjoy this one and hope that the forces of the musical universe will allow this group of kindred souls the opportunity to explore this incredibly colorful musical pallet they are messing with.

This one is for fans of true musicianship and well-seasoned talent.  It will knock your socks off.

Track Listing:

    1. Open Up Your Eyes (12.24)
    2. Mask Machine (6.06)
    3. Bombs Away (5.03)
    4. The Fury Of My Love (5.10)
    5. A Place In Your World (6.25)
    6. Lost Without You (4.46)
    7. One Love Forever (7.17)
    8. Peaceful Harbor (7.01)
    9. Cosmic Symphony (11.46)
        I. Still Life Of The World
        II. Searching For The Air
        III. Pound For Pound

By Jeb Wright