Exposé Online banner

1974 — 1974 & The Death of the Herald
((Not on label) no#, 2013, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2014-04-30

1974 & The Death of the Herald Cover artWhen a bad chooses to name itself after a year, you have to figure there is some significance to that year in relation to their music. So when you listen to 1974 (the band), you might expect the music to sound like something from 1974 (the year). And aside from a few modern touches, your expectations would be fulfilled. 1974, like any other year, had its good and bad points musically, so fortunately this band takes its cues from Secret Treaties (Blue Oyster Cult) and Axe Victim (Be Bop Deluxe) rather than Dark Lady (Cher) or Hot Sox (Sha Na Na). Other points of reference (not necessarily from 1974) might include Captain Beyond, Nektar, Klaatu, and even Kansas or Styx (a little). I'm also reminded a bit of those Finnish masters of retro-rock, Five Fifteen, especially with the male/female vocals. The music centers around a story, some kind of science fictional epic involving a Great Galactic War and the United Earthlands' Assembly and the like. Concept albums are so 1974, and this isn't this band's first one — they put out 1974 & The Battle for the Lazer Fortress in 2011 as well as a couple of EPs. It's possible all of their work is part of a single sprawling epic a la Coheed & Cambria. But that question is left for people who read liner notes, and for those who just like to listen, 1974 gives us some good solid rock music in the classic mode, before it was considered uncool to have keyboards and extended instrumental sections. They manage to avoid sounding too pretentious or serious, and utilize many of the tropes of 70s rock without coming off as simply derivative. Guitar, keyboard, and vocals are all quite well done, and the production is clean and full without sounding fussy or overblown. And while the music doesn't aspire to Gentle Giant's complexity, neither is it straight 4/4 bonehead stuff. In short, 1974 & The Death of the Herald is something that doesn't seem like it ought to exist in 2013, but succeeds admirably. I can think of many reasons why some listeners might not go for it, but given a fair chance, I think those reasons can be overcome by the quality of this performance.

Filed under: New releases, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): 1974

Latest news

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart $amp; Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Billy Currie - Push – Ex-Ultravox member Billy Currie’s fifth album is another tour de force of synthesizers and stringed instruments that captures a unique romantic niche. Currie has been refining his approach for over...  (2003) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues