A new group from Buffalo, New York called Turning Virtue have come up with an interesting sound for their debut album, A Temporary Human Experience, and an even more provocative label: post-progressive rock. It’s not what most fans would think: a new imagination of prog rock, but rather a charming combination of prog rock and its usual nemesis, post-rock.
Turning Virtue formed quite recently but seemed to have the idea for the type of sound they wanted early on. They managed to enlist some top talent to help realize this vision, including legendary drummer Mark Zonder, who was rated in the “Top 100 Best Drummers Ever” by TotalDrumsets.com. For mixing and mastering, they were able to work with Tim Palmer, whose illustrious list of clientele includes Robert Plant, Pearl Jam and David Bowie, and Andy Vandette, who’s mastered for Prog Rock gods, Rush. Who better to master an innovative new take on prog rock?
How is this seemingly conflictual post/prog mashup achieved? The band make it look effortless. The lyrical content of “Transcend” seems in line with prog rock; a little bit spiritual, a little bit fantastical, whilst frontman Davey K’s vocals are set at a high pitch and a major key. The music, however, is much more in the post rock, with Davey K and Carl Cino’s guitars taking on a lot of minor keys and heavy feedback. The rhythm section, including Zonder and a bassist who goes by the mononym/mnemonic device “DPA”, meanwhile provide a line between punk and post-punk on which K and Cino may perch as needed. The whole composition ends up very much post-rock, and a little grunge/shoegaze, laced with surprising yet pleasant lashings of prog rock.
As a new band in the post-modern post-rock musical landscape, Turning Virtue have managed to come up with something new and different with their debut album, and “Transcend is an intriguing entree into this unlikely style combo. “Transcend” can be streamed on Turning Virtue’s Soundcloud page, while A Temporary Human Experience is available to purchase on CD Baby.