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

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Red Jasper - The Winter's Tale – Evidently you don't have to have a shred of originality, talent, or musicianship to be an active part of the SI (sonically insipid) band roster. Red Jasper continue on in the fine SI (simply...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues