Tuesday, April 12, 2016


At the risk of sounding redundant, thanks for coming back fellow progheads!  Now that the Concert Closet is back in full travel mode, the search for all things prog returns to a continent that boasts some "off the beaten path" bands, who in turn have produced some "off the beaten path" prog.  This week I set the GPS to South America so as to investigate the eclectic sounds of Fobos, one such band living "off the prog grid" in Argentina.

The Concert Closet has been on a mission of late to shine a light on prog bands that have an impressive sound without the massive following...there must be another Atlas Volt in the prog garden somewhere!  Fobos has two albums to their credit, and their sound is a bit of a tangent for me...all the more reason to stamp my passport in Buenos Aires and have a look-see...

Fobos refers to themselves as "...a progressive rock band from Argentina..."  Simple enough--and just the right amount of itch to make me want to scratch.  Stepping to the buffet, I pick up a very "organic" type of vibe...nothing like the urge to hug a tree; just a throw-back style of sorts where I half expect Steve Winwood and Jim Capaldi to walk out from behind the curtain.

Slicing into the first serving yields a bit of a surprise; a live recording of "El Sol Ya No Esta Aca." Fobos sings the lyrics in their native tongue, which I am sure is a local Spanish dialect.  However; as all progheads know--music is a universal language.  As I sink into the futon wedged in the back of the Concert Closet, I am immediately struck by the energy level of both the crowd and the band.  Top notes of Genesis and Camel are accented with  aromatics of Traffic as raw drums lay a foundation strong enough for guitar work to sit upright on.  Fobos comes across like the band at a high school dance from a visual perspective--but they play as if they opened for Dire Straits as a favor.

Looking for a second serving to complement that opening, I settle on a more relaxing dose of "El Abismo." The soothing guitar is accented nicely by drumming that conjures up images of a late night spent in the prog rock lounge...this song is definitely the yin to El Sol's yang.  Fobos can paint with dark, pastel, and bright colors.  The top notes here lean toward the Be Bop Deluxe section of the prog garden; this is a piece to be played outdoors at night while gazing at the stars...you feel as though you are in another world...

Liner Notes...Calling Buenos Aires, Argentina home, Fobos is comprised of Paul Cordes on guitars and vocals, Cristian "Baty" Tutaglio on keyboards and vocals, and Bruno Caamano on bass and vocals.  It appears, from press releases and social media sites, that session drummer Mauricio Scarafia sits behind the drum kit.

Fobos formed in 2013 and has released two LP's to date.  Their self-titled debut hit the airwaves in December 2014, followed by "Exodo, Tiempo y Espacio" in late 2015.  Tending to acreage in the spacial section of the prog garden, Fobos has staked out territory in the Pink Floyd, Camel,  and Beardfish corner...a cornucopia of colors spread across a vast wide open canvas, giving the listener vivid imagery to accompany sound that floats like whip cream on a steaming mug of hot cocoa.

Filling the platter one last time, I come away with a starry-eyed serving of "Hay Luz."  Fobos takes you on a journey with this piece to a time when all was right with the world--but the world was a much younger place.  Even with top notes of Camel and Marillion filling the headphones, I close my eyes and expect to see Dave Brubeck sitting at the piano...the nostalgia hangs in the air like cobwebs in the attic.  Although the song title translates to "No Light;" the serenity that envelops you from ear to ear is as bright as a Peter Max poster.

Looking for a bit of a teaser for your listening pleasure this week, I chose "Legado."  The song opens with waves breaking gently on the shore and proceeds to bleed seamlessly into a soft drum/guitar montage that is about as rough as a cardboard box.  The vocals cut in as the entire piece begins to unfold; Fobos in their infancy matures as the song progresses...you can hear the coming-of-age in the rawness of the music, and feel pent-up emotions force their way through the headphones like a runaway palomino.

Learn more about Fobos at FobosRock.  As is the norm, there is a Facebook page and Twitter account, Fobos Facebook and @fobosrock respectively.  The band's website also has a link to their YouTube channel as well.  When you listen to Fobos for the first time, you get a sense that the prog garden will soon have another bumper crop.


OK fellow progheads, another seven days winds down as we quickly approach the halfway marker for April...which translates to one-third of 2016 spent.  The grains of sand are flowing through the hourglass much too quickly, forcing the Concert Closet to make a hasty getaway. The search for all things prog continues...until next week...

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