Flying Colors: Second Nature

I’m generally pretty skeptical of supergroups to begin with. part of that is because I can’t change what I know or how I already feel about the bands that most of these artists were previously in and in most cases find it difficult to not compare the new music to the music they created with their original band(s). I’ve also recently questioned Mike Portnoy‘s sanity as I have not found much substantial music in the Winery Dogs‘ catalog.

However, this daily new group seems to stand out, at least musically, above some of the other supergroups that are emerging. Along with Portnoy, both Neal Morse (Transatlantic, Spock’s Beard, Independent) and  Steve Morse (Deep Purple, Dixie Dregs and Ex-Kansas) are a part of the group. Additionally, the bass player is Dave LaRue, former of Dixie Dregs, Joe Satriani, and Steve Vai. Looking at that lineup, it’s hard to argue the musical credibility of these musicians, but what’s intriguing is that the singer for this project is a relatively new talent; Casey McPherson,whose background has been primarily pop music.

Let me be clear in stating that this is my first time listening to this band. I haven’t listened to the self-titled debut yet, but definitely will now having heard this record. It appears as though this band’s mission has been to create sophisticated, yet equally accessible music. I think they’ve accomplished that, at least with Second Nature. On the surface, this album is catch y an appealing in ways similar to someone who is a fan of Dream Theater or Transatlantic. Once the listener really starts to absorb the album, they’ll mow likely discover a deep reservoir of texture and countless layers of sounds and harmonies that continue to surprise and stimulate with every listen. What’s equally amazing is that this album was written AND recorded in just NINE days; a feat for any band, let alone a progressive rock band.

This is still a fairly tricky album to surmise because instrumentally, the album sounds like a sum of its influences. Since the members all come form prolific bands including Dream Theater, Transatlantic, Joe Satriani, and Steve Vai, there are familiar characteristics of each of these groups that can be pin-pointed in certain aspects of the album. On the other hand, the songs themselves do sound a little fresher and with McPherson offering a new brand of singing and style that these artists haven’t worked with before, it still makes Second Nature an album full of breathtaking material worth listening to multiple times.

At this point, the album should have already been released through Music Theories/Mascot Label Group. You can find more info here:

Luke Helker


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