FLYING COLORS – Third Degree
- by J.N.
- Posted on 07-10-2019
I must confess that this is my first encounter with the hugely skilled Flying Colors featuring such heavyweights as drummer Mike Portnoy (Winery Dogs, ex-Dream Theater), guitar-wizard Steve Morse (Deep Purple, Dixie Dregs, ex-Kansas), keyboard-maestro and vocalist Neil Morse (Transatlantic, ex-Spock’s Beard), bassist Dave LaRue (Dixie Dregs, ex-Joe Satriani), and vocalist Casey McPherson (Alpha Rev, The Sea Within). But better late than never, right?
Kicking things off with the energetic “The Loss Inside”, the ensemble offers up nine dynamic and gloriously unpredictable cuts that encompass elements of classic rock, progressive rock, and what can only be termed experimental (and to some extent psychedelic) pop music. It all moves seamlessly back and forth between a vigorous sense of joy and deep-seated longing, which is nicely illustrated by the track “Cadence”. The musicianship is marvelous, but the best part of this record is that it sounds as if these guys were having a blast putting it all together and that the creative juices were really flowing when jamming these crisp and sparkling tunes together.
The potency of “Third Degree” is beyond question and it has plenty of emotive character to it too. Regardless of whether you dig Asia, Yes, Kansas, or perhaps “Rapture of the Deep” and “Purpendicular” by Deep Purple, this eclectic and interesting album is for you. As to my favorite song (or album highlight, if you will), the piece named “Geronimo” is a bundle of joy and all-out brilliant from start to finish – and that chorus is just to die for!