Since I’ve started the blog site back in 2008 and been listening to old and of course, new bands that want to take the music to a new level, they really sound amazing and breathtaking. That and this new band IO Earth who was formed by childhood friends Dave Cureton and Adam Gough have wanted to make something that was new, fresh, and would definitely take your breath away. And with their sole self-titled debut album already in the can, let me just say this is quite amazing!
IO Earth’s debut album is like going on a magic carpet ride and taking the sounds of middle-eastern sounds, opera, rock, classical, and new age music is quite astonishing and would surprise listeners with a crowning achievement that is right tip in your alley. While this is a double album, it’s almost like a science-fiction concept album in three variations: Water, Earth, and Air.
Now I bet when they were young kids they spent a lot of time listening to Camel, Pink Floyd, Pallas, Mike Oldfield, Marillion, and Yes as well to create a mesmerizing journey filled with mind-boggling guitar layered sounds, ambient keyboard sounds in the realms of Richard Wright’s Division Bell-era and mix them up and you’ve got yourself one hell of a weekend and not to mention some explosive vocal arrangements and electronic sounds of the future that is almost out of this world.
While Dave Cureton and Adam Gough are the brain child of IO Earth, the band considers Dave’s brother Richard on Drums, Jason Reynolds on Sax, Steve Trigg on Horn & Trumpet, Christian Nokes on Bass, Louise Graggins on vocals, Claire Malin on vocals, and Steve Balsamo on vocals. The team on here is one of the best and they deserve a huge pat on the back with the talent and working together as to see how they were going to see where the direction they were about to go in and knowing that this would be an amazing project they will remember for years to come.
I can’t decide which tracks to pick are one of my favorites on the album like Dark Side of the Moon, it’s the whole thing from start to finish, but I decided to pick three pieces that really completely blew me away the first time I heard it. There’s the homage to Mandalaband’s haunting sound with the Egyptian rock operatic sound on Eeee with an acoustic guitar and piano setting the soaring beauty that Dave does to create the tension of the composition while it becomes a mind-boggling frenzy time change movement that would send a shiver down your spine.
The jazzy atmosphere that Steve Trigg does to make you feel it’s a smoky night on Smoky Wood that has a melodic touch to it as Claire Malin’s angelic voice who sounds like Heather Findlay, would bring a tear to your eye. Elsewhere, Loops reminds me that it was left off the Kid A sessions that Radiohead had done with a fierce bass line reminiscent of The National Anthem, haunting piano grooves, and fierce sax and electronic boundaries that would make you think, “Damn this is spot on!”
IO Earth’s debut album is spot on. It’s not a masterpiece, but they are just getting started and showing the music can move into various formations. Maybe one day they could write a film score sometime in the future. A must have for Prog listeners and you need to buy this big time!