Exposé Online banner

Sanguine Hum — Now We Have Light
(Esoteric Recordings EANTCD 20142, 2015, 2CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2015-07-26

Now We Have Light Cover art

In the years since its genesis (ahem!) in the 80s, the term “neo-prog” has taken on a meaning that’s pretty highly codified, with a style adapting some of the qualities of previous progressive rock for the somewhat simpler tastes of the 80s – basically adapting the more pop-friendly elements of prog within a framework developed by New Wave. Of course, Neo-Prog has nearly as many detractors as it has fans, and has since its beginnings, and (to be fair) many of the bands that started out as derivative Neo-Prog went on to develop more original styles of their own. By the early part of the 21st Century, there’s even a new generation of bands inspired as much by 80s Neo-Prog as they are by 70s Classic Prog. Sanguine Hum does not sound like one of those bands. From the get-go their sound seems of a stream apart. Listening to the music, it’s clearly got progressive flavors, with complex compositions, instrumental parts that go far beyond playing chords to back up a vocal part, and lots of vintage keyboard sounds. But there’s also not much in the way of references to Yes or Genesis. It’s interesting how even the use of a Mellotron, as on “End of the Line,” doesn’t make them sound symphonic in any conventional way. Another notable factor is that, unlike most current progressive bands, there’s not even a whiff of metal influence. Some comparable artists that come to mind are Happy the Man, Mike Keneally’s Beer for Dolphins, Modest Midget, and Echolyn. In addition to being a welcome change from today’s crop of Porcupine Tree and Dream Theater sound-alikes, Sanguine Hum is just downright fun to listen to. Definitely something to check out if you’re not listening to them already.


Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): Sanguine Hum, Andrew Booker

Latest news

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Jack o' the Clock and Zero Times Everything, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Poetica in Silentio - What Do Fish Know? – Over the last few years, a number of bands have tackled the problem of applying the best features of classic progressive rock to more modern sounds, and other bands seem to have achieved the same sort...  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues