Agent Cooper — Beginner's Mind
(Zero Sum 822024026527, 2005, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2007-03-01
Agent Cooper is a four-man band who hail from Atlanta who self produced their first independent release of ten neo-prog tracks that infuse varying styles of music from Arabic to metal and melodic rock and roll. The band is a direct link from prog-rockers Salem Ash, who had built a small following in Georgia in the early 90s. The disc kicks off with “East Indian Sun,” where the wailing lead vocals of guitarist / leader Doug Busbie shows the band very much in heavy riffing mode (like heavier Spock’s Beard). Other favorable comparisons can be made to Echolyn and Enchant as the quartet rely heavily on symphonic themes to provide space for Busbie’s soaring guitar leads. “Struggle Like I Do” is perhaps the most personalized statement from Busbie’s mindset but the song is well crafted with an acoustic guitar introduction that leads into a hook laden track on par with a similar feel to Nick D’Virgilio’s delivery on Feel Euphoria. More aggressive tracks including the quick paced aptly titled “The Heat” and “…In the Bottle,” both which remind a lot of rockier Kansas circa Leftoverture with keyboardist Eric Frampton serving some tasty organ unisons and fills. The former track features the best rhythm section interplay with tight drumming from Frank Fonstere. The Echolyn influence is recognizable in the vocal and guitar aspects of the best arranged piece, “Timing Crucial” that rocks with a few well thought out twists. Overall it’s a worthy debut recording as the band is hard at work on a follow-up.
Related artist(s): Agent Cooper
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