Garcia Peoples – One Step Behind: Album Review

Release Date: 18th October 2019

Label: Beyond Beyond Is Beyond

Formats: CD, DL

Two tracks doth an album make. Garcia Peoples take us on a journey through most musical forms.

So, Madness did One Step Beyond and Def Leppard did Two Steps Behind. A merging of the two and you may get One Step Behind. Though a melodic hard rock and ska amalgam may sound a strange concoction, madness even,  it’s maybe not too far from reality after an encounter with Garcia Peoples.

It’s the band’s third album in eighteen months, the six-piece clearly finding that they’re in a rich vein of inspirational form and not afraid to go where the muse takes them. Their sense of freedom to experiment is evident in two tracks that offer a tank full of contrasts.

Thirty-two minutes of the title cut sees the guitar duo of Tom Malach and Danny Arakaki guide their team through a series of passages and phases the wouldn’t be out of place in an Eno / Tangerine Dream / Oldfield / Hillage / Crimson inspired alternate world. 

“Less of a piece of music than a zone to occupy” is what they’ve termed their creation where jazzy lines drift over the gentle hypnotic rock of a repeating guitar pattern. Eight minutes in, the direction slowly shifts into a slowly rocking affair and amidst the bubble of guitar and synth lines, we get our first vocal that immediately conjures up a Revolver era Beatles vibe. After being set for a decent ride on a soothing groove, we’re jolted back to reality with a bump and brought full circle with a familiar snaking jazzy wind and synth freak out. Yes, One Step Behind proves a portal to a world of bright and airy experimentation, expression and experience.

By comparison, the relative brevity of Heart & Soul, unsurprisingly takes us in a totally different direction having already had our rambling psychedelic encounter. Grand and stately piano chords lead into an almost spiritual gospel-blues that celebrates being led from the dark into the light and towards a clarified vision. As our protagonist sings of “sowing his seed” wherever he went as a young man, the revelation and clarity that comes from growing older and learning from experience emerge as he reflects on his past life. A journey of discovery that sees the band channeling their inner Procul Harum in a trip where the destiny of finding both heart and soul on a journey of enlightenment is ultimately a warm and fulfilling experience.

Listen to the single edit of One Step Behind here:

Garcia Peoples  online:   Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bandcamp

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