Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Jade Vine

Good evening fellow progheads; you're just in time to join me for my weekly "get up/get out" as I travel abroad in my quest for all things prog.  Throughout this entire excursion I have been hopping back and forth from continent to continent, country to country...and this week is no different.  While I didn't exactly break new ground this time around, I did manage to locate a relative new comer to the progressive music scene.  I am becoming very familiar with the folks in customs at Heathrow Airport as I scurry in and out of England. Got my passport stamped again so I can check out a band that piqued my prog curiosity; welcome to the sounds of Jade Vine.

Jade Vine describes themselves as "alternative prog rock."  That is an expression I have heard many times to define many a prog band today.  The "a-word" is used almost flippantly; like an old cliche.  Although I do pick up hints of Anathema,  Garbage, Consider The Thief, and just a touch of Grey Lotus, it is time to discover for myself what puts the "alternative" in Jade Vine's progressive sound...

My first serving from the buffet is a tune called "Nothing I Can Do."  A somber opening with acoustic guitar and vocals that have a dark and earthy flavor...not a bad start.  The song picks up strength pretty quickly as the drums build a solid foundation for the guitars to rise from.  The music moves into a groove reminiscent of early Garbage--except  Jade Vine does not seem totally dependent on one player...each musician brings something to the song that would leave a void if omitted.  There is an ominous feel to the song that is somehow appealing...nice first impression.

Helping number two from the serving line is called "Nothing Can Hide From Light."  This is the title cut from Jade Vine's debut album.  Once again a somber, somewhat dark opening.  The acoustics lead down a dark stairwell bringing you to the drums that thump you on the side of the head...and then a full smack in the ears as the guitars pick up the tempo while the vocals give chase.  Jade Vine seems to be developing a sound that mixes new prog with a soft metal/jazz twist that does seem a bit...alternative...I guess there really is something to that moniker.

Liner Notes...Jade Vine was originally formed as a duet in 2006 under the name "Uncaused Creation" by brothers Constantine and Marios Magdalinos, both of whom played guitar and sang vocals.  Looking to grow their sound, band, and opportunities, the brothers Magdalinos added drummer Babis Margaritidis, Anastasiya Malakhova on keyboards, and ultimately relinquished bass guitar duties to Tom Nettleship.  The name change to Jade Vine occurred in 2012 as things started to kick into high gear.  Collaboration with Anathema's own Daniel Cavanagh, who is credited as "co-producer and general supervisor," has helped Jade Vine move to that proverbial "next level."

Sauntering back to the "alternative buffet," serving number three is a tune called  "Last Days of Apathy."  Jade Vine throws everything into this song; the the tempo picks up right away and the metal guitar comes at you rapid-fire in short bursts that  are the driving force from which the song is constructed.  The keyboards and drums join the fracas and erect a strong tower to carry the vocals across the entire piece.  This is a sturdy, jagged-edged composition  that will continue in your head long after the laser has moved across the CD...

The clip featured below is "Lose Control."  A beefy percussion/guitar intro takes this song to different territory...a nice paradigm shift that throws Jade Vine right at the listener...who should be only too happy to carry the load.  There is a deepness to Jade Vine that is not necessarily dark; perhaps solemn with a splash of in-your-face bravado that separates them from the pack while aligning them with the next generation of prog at the same time.  Jade Vine defines themselves as a rock band with an alternative/prog rock twist...I gotta admit; seven days spent listening to their music has shed bright lights on a great new sound.  Learn more about Jade Vine at http://www.jadevineuk.com/

OK progheads, time once again to start counting backwards from seven...until we cross paths again next week with another new prog band fervently awaiting their gig in the concert closet.  Because I am only too happy to oblige both band and reader, I will continue this expedition.  I know there are countless prog bands out there, I just need to keep my ears open...until next week...


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