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Proud Peasant, USA

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Proud Peasant - Flight. 2014 Basement Avatar

Proud Peasant are a new symphonic progressive band from Austin, Texas, an area more known for country blues or cutting edge indie rock (it's for certain the hipster capital of Texas) - and as such the band find themselves at complete odds with their hometown brethren.  There are 3 lengthy instrumental tracks (12:28, 19:34, 13:20) on "Flight", and what sounds to be mostly charted music and well rehearsed. There's a large palette of instruments on display, beyond the usual rock quartet with 70s analog keyboards. Proud Peasant's trademark sound would have to be simply described as BIG. Not in the GYBE post rock manner, as this is music that is definitely rooted in the 70s - with that era's analog instrumentation - though perhaps as played and produced in the 1990s. Comparisons do not come easily, but I think Gnosis Joe offered perhaps the best clue: Rainbow Theatre at the time of "Fantasy of Horses". Like that album, there is a classical bent to the compositions - but wholly their own and nowhere near a cheesy "rock the classics" kind of endeavor. Given that Proud Peasant are instrumental, you also won't have to battle the pseudo operatic vocals either (though there is some acapella actually (a bit like Pulsar's "Halloween"), which is mixed creatively with fuzz bass and Moog synthesizer). It's hard to imagine the band being influenced by such an obscure album from Australia, as I would suspect they would react with a collective "who?" - but it's always interesting to see how disparate bands from different eras can come up with similar music conclusions (though I should reiterate the obvious - they are still very different). Perhaps another comparison, though far more superficial, would be Camel's "The Snow Goose", another classical styled work with beautiful flute. They saved the best track for last, 'The Precipice', which combines the sounds above with the Scandinavian School of retro prog, especially that of early Wobbler.

I hope we hear more from this band. They have tremendous potential!

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