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K'Mono - 20123 - "Mind Out of Mind"

(41:36; Apollon Records)


TRACK LIST: 1. Mind Out of Mind 9:47 2. Good-Looking 3:58 3. In the Lost & Found 8:14 4. Time Will Tell... 2:06 5. Tell Me the Lore 4:44 6. Millipede Man 4:34 7. Answers in the Glass 8:13 LINE UP : Jeffrey Carlson - vocals, guitars, keyboards Chad Fjerstad - vocals, bass, keyboards Timothy Java - drums with: Jake Wagner - backing vocals Jeff Victor - keyboards Phillip Merriman - guitars

Prolusion. US band K'Mono is a fairly recent addition to the progressive rock scene in the US from what I can understand, with the oldest signs of activity from the band online dating back to 2021. They released their debut album "Return To The 'E'" in the spring of that year, and their sophomore production was initially self-released as a digital production two years later. This second album has now been picked up by Norwegian label Apollon Records, who released the CD version at the start of 2024.

Analysis. K'Mono is a band that appear to know their way around quite a lot of classic era progressive rock, as well as being keenly aware of how this genre, form and tradition developed into the 1980s as well. They incorporate quite a few different and diverse elements and details into their compositions, in a blend that to my mind at least fully deserve a description as eclectic. In some instances we get a bass line, arrangements and vocal harmonies of the kind that fans of Yes in general and the output of that bands from the early 80s in particular will find familiar sounding, and a little bit of a symphonic progressive rock influx are noted throughout, albeit as a bit more of a secondary feature more often than not. A more notable possible influence is King Crimson, with plenty of quirky and off instrument details, subtly off kilter arrangement choices and a little bit of a floating, otherworldly feel of the kind that band had quite a bit of back in the early 80s. This is a band well aware of their jazzrock too I suspect, as the rhythm department as well as some of the other instruments at times will incorporate a more expressive delivery that strikes me as being more in line with jazzrock than progressive rock as such, but as a bit of a contrast to this we also get a fair few more dreamladen and atmospheric passages closer in line to what a band like Camel were doing back in their heyday. A further dimension incorporated into the material here are darker toned landscapes, some warm and welcoming in a manner fans of Gilmour era Pink Floyd will find familiar, with some appropriately blues-tinged instrument details included, but also the somewhat more brooding and haunting atmospheres that possibly are closer related to a band such as Van der Graaf Generator can be found here. We also get a little bit of additional flavoring throughout: A little bit of synth pop here, some psychedelia there, and a charming little influx of folk music elements further expands the size of the audio canvas in use. As well as a little tidbit of a song that may also pull in a few elements with a possible Beatles inspiration. This is a most charming production on many levels, with a lot going on at all times and with a subtle rather than a dramatic approach, execution and delivery. Despite the variation this is also a warm and inviting production, an album that plays upon the finer details and the nuances rather than being challenging of the in your face variety. Elegant is perhaps a good word to summarize the manner in which the band goes about the task of exploring these landscapes, and with a mix and production that makes an emphasis on that specific aspect too.

Conclusion. While the diversity at hand may not make this album one with a broad and wide appeal, those with a general fascination for bands described as being eclectic in scope and with a particular fascination for artists that explore eclectic landscapes in a subtle and elegant manner will find a lot to enjoy on this strong and well-developed production. An album to lend an ear to if you enjoy your King Crimson just as much as your Camel.

Proguessor: February 2024
The Rating Room

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Apollon Records


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