Exposé Online banner

Perfect Beings — Perfect Beings II
(My Sonic Temple MST-1501, 2015, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2016-04-02

Perfect Beings II Cover art

With their first album, the Southern California band Perfect Beings set a very high bar for themselves, with a sophisticated take on modern progressive rock superbly informed by the genre’s history but not devoted to repeating it. I’m happy to report that the follow-up is in no way a letdown. “Mar del Fuego” jumps out of the gate with a blast somewhat reminiscent of classic Yes. The guitar work is outstanding, blending some Howe-isms with some very original touches. Vocals only appear in the last few moments of the track, leading us into “Cryogenia,” which feels almost like the next section of a suite rather than a freestanding composition. It’s a slow-paced, dramatic vocal number, and leads into a brief electronic interlude before the album’s longest track, “The Love Inside.” The beautiful and sometimes elaborate vocal arrangements remind me of early Ambrosia and 10cc, though Perfect Beings stray much further from pop song structures than either of those bands. There are also whiffs of the first couple Klaatu albums, though without the orchestral elements. When you add the quality of the instrumental arrangements to the great vocals, it’s almost an embarrassment of riches. Aside from the previously mentioned guitar work, keyboards are quite prominent, balancing modern and vintage sounds seamlessly. The chordal patches have rich tones, and there are some very nice lead parts, sometimes sounding like a mutated Minimoog – it’s like they took Rick Wakeman at his wildest and ran it through the audio equivalent of a set of funhouse mirrors. Perfect Beings, when considered alongside The Aaron Clift Experiment, Ampledeed, Ovrfwrd, and a few others, affirm the strength of the newest generation of American progressive rock, and show that the old horse, far from being dead, is ready to hit the track.


Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): Johannes Luley, Perfect Beings

Latest news

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Béla Fleck and the Flecktones - Outbound – I’ve been a big fan of Béla Fleck for quite a while, so I’m not sure how this one slipped under my radar for so long, especially given the stellar list of guest artists....  (2001) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues