Album: A Lifeblood Psalm
Label: Self released
Review: Diego Camargo
Thoughts: The Twenty Committee is a fairly new band that has been playing together only since 2012. It began as a solo effort of Geoffrey Langley (vocals and keyboards), but soon became a full band with the addition of Justin Carlton (guitars and vocals), Joe Henderson (drums and vocals), Steve Kostas (guitars) and Richmond Carlton (bass). And just after that, they started to record their debut album A Lifeblood Psalm (2013) that was released in April.
There’s a whole new generation of Progressive bands that I like to call ‘New Wave Of Progressive Pop’. These bands usually write pretty accessible music but by adding twists and pieces together they have much Prog Rock going on. Just like late 70’s bands did, but this time with an updated sound.
Few weeks ago I reviewed the Swedish Dynamo Bliss, today it is time for the Americans of The Twenty Committee.
A Lifeblood Psalm (2013) caught my attention right away because it was recorded in Neal Morse’s studio Radiant Records, so I was expecting a minimum of quality here. And boy! It’s good when your expectations are surpassed!
If you want to know what the hell I meant by ‘Progressive Pop’ in the beginning of the review, just listen to ‘How Wonderful’, the first proper track on A Lifeblood Psalm (2013). After a curious intro piece the band stacks with a great track.
What we have in here is a wonderful Pop track with a great and catchy chorus but at the same time with Prog Rock sophistication.
No wonder that the band decided to record their album at Neal Morse’s studio. Their sound has a lot to do with Neal’s solo career and even more with his Flying Colors project. All of this albums were recorded at Radiant Records, so if you know them you know what to expect from The Twenty Committee album in terms of sound.
‘Her Voice’ begins, and once again, the perfect Prog/Pop match, something like Coldplay meets Yes. Geoffrey Langley has strong compositions and a great voice, not just that, The Twenty Committee has excellent musicians. In special the keyboards and guitars parts on this particular track. The second part of the song lets the ‘Prog loose’ a bit. Great track.
‘Airtight’ is the weakest track on the album. It is indeed a pretty song, filled with classical moments and nice melodies. But it turns out to be a regular Pop piece of music that does not dare go to new places.
‘The Knowledge Enterprise’ is a five parts suite that clocks 21’31 minutes but unfortunately was divided into different tracks. Not that this fact gets in the way of the audition tough.
It begins wonderfully with ‘Overture’, an intricate piece with many different sections and a good use of the synths. Bass player Richmond Carlton and drum player Joe Henderson has to be mentioned here cause they did a great work.
The suite follows with ‘Conceivers And Deceivers’, this one continues the previous melody, but now with wonderful vocals and a good vocal melody all along. Great riff and synths too.
‘Tonight’ is an acoustic piece with guitars and piano that soon is joined by vocals, nice double ones. Towards the end, the rest of the band appears for some time and we have a nice ‘power up’ on the track before the follow up ‘With These Eyes’.
The fourth part brings back the initial melody, being a good one is great to have it back once again.
‘Finale’ closes the album and one thing is certain after the last second: the sensation that the band accomplished their goal!
The Twenty Committee prove themselves as one strong act. A Lifeblood Psalm (2013) is a hell of a great debut with great musicianship and great compositions.
The only low point is that the CD doesn’t have a booklet with the lyrics and info. But the cover is great tough!
An album well recorded, well produced, well mixed and well played.
Hats off to a new great band!
The band was included in our Podcast #22 and you can listen the track 'The Knowledge Enterprise-With These Eyes' HERE.