After a seven year split, Brisbane punk-rockers Speedlab made their triumphant return to music with …
As far as DIY progressive rock bands go, Past Present have got a pretty exciting raw aesthetic going for them.
Low-grade Pink Floyd, part time Rocky Horror Picture Show vibes, and certainly channelling their inner Devin Townsend, their concept album The Beast & The Burden is a journey through across a rainbow of sound, but is it one you can follow? Nay, is it one you’ll like?
As concept albums go, this is pretty cool. It’s not clear at times what the story is as a lot of the lyrics are washed away by sometimes overly ambitious runs across the scale, but it sounds good–mostly. Past Present dip their toes into experimental metal in Lamentations with a guttural noise happening in the vocals, presumably some kind of exchange before characters in their unclear story but the tale is not well told.
Past Present pack a potential for power in The Beast & The Burden
There’s a beautifully twisted journey through melodies in Weary, as Past Present make headway in enticing the imaginative areas of their concept before the thumping bass and tinny high hats of Harlequins take over with a mystery.
What’s great about Past Present is they are killer songwriters and instrumentalists. They’ve already gone to the extreme of using more than the standard instruments of a band, boasting a viola, clarinet, saxophone, cello and trombone on various tracks in the release, really giving a rich and indulgent sound. Their ability to write for so many tones and timbres is at the very least, impressive, and that’s the enjoyable aspect of this group.
Past Present pack a potential for power in The Beast & The Burden and as far as debut albums go, it’s a pretty brave move to put out something quite as involved as this, even if the execution isn’t always clear.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Weary, Lamentations, Cold
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Devin Townsend Project, Strapping Young Lad, Haken