"Ode to Echo"

By Dark Starr

What an amazing set this is! It’s definitely thinking person’s prog. It’s the kind of thing that gets better with every spin, every additional bit of familiarity. It’s the kind of progressive rock that’s both modern and classic in texture. It has sections that call to mind this act or that, but it never really feels like anything but original. This might be Glass Hammer’s best album. Given the quality of their catalog, that says a lot. It’s also a contender for best of 2014.

 The lineup here boasts three lead singers (two male and one female): Carl Groves, Jon Davison (best known these days as the lead singer in Yes) and Susie Bogdanowicz. The rest of the band is Fred Schendel (keyboards, guitars and backing vocals), Steve Babb (bass guitar, keyboards and backing vocals), Kamran Alan Shikoh (guitars and sitar) and Aaron Raulston (drums). If that wasn’t enough, they are joined by a number of guests including: Randy Jackson (Zebra),  David Ragsdale (Kansas) and Rob Reed (Magenta).

You can imagine the results when talents of this magnitude coalesce perfectly. Every musician sounds locked in on "Ode To Echo", whether its the complex hard-edged prog of "I Am I" or the more pop-oriented and Beatle-esque "Porpoise Song". I cannot recommend this album highly enough.