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Every Waking Hour

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Not many prog bands can chart their origins to a series of blues jams in a high school stairwell with guitar and accordion(?!). In fact, these early efforts were what convinced guitarist/bassist Tim Kestle and keyboardist/drummer/vocalist Paul McLean that they could create music together.

After several youthful collaborations the two drifted apart but eventually found themselves in their current home of Denver, Colorado. The duo set about creating their own take on the prog rock style. The results can be heard on their new CD, “Writing on the Wall. ” It aims for everything the pair loves about prog: big, hummable choruses, epic songs and twisting instrumentals.

They also tried to avoid the elements that they didn’t love. Absent is the angular dissonance of many bands in the genre that often make prog inaccessible to casual listeners.

Instead, what comes across are unusual collisions like the “The King is Dead” which channels Elvis through a mixture of ELP and Dick Dale (of 1960’s surf-rock fame) and the title track which ventures where early Genesis might have gone if they had grown up listening to Al Jazeera instead of the BBC. Some songs like “Over Now”, crank up the bombast while “Conspiracy of Silence” revels in acoustic simplicity.

Every Waking Hour relishes the chance to stamp their signature on each track. Kestle adds in touches of oud, (a middle-eastern antecedent of the lute) as well as mandolin and heavily processed guitar. McLean employs an extensive array of new and vintage keyboards, including some he hand-built in his basement.

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