FLYING COLORS – S/T

Ear Music/Edel

A supergroup consisting of drummer Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater), guitarist Steve Morse (Deep Purple/Dixie Dreggs), bassist Dave LaRue (Steve Morse/Dixie Dreggs), Neal Morse (Transatlantic/ex-Spock’s Beard) on keyboards/vocals and lead vocalist/guitarist Casey McPherson. The album was produced by the legendary Peter Collins and it was recorded in just nine days.

Given the line-up you may be expecting some prog metal workout but the band have cleverly pooled their various musical influences to create a hybrid of pop, hard and prog rock. Take the opener ‘Blue Ocean’, musical passages remind you of Dixie Dreggs as Steve Morse and Dave LaRue trade solos off each other, yet the chorus is blissful pop rock. ‘Shoulda Coulda Woulda’ is a straight forward metal romp, the heaviest song on the album and one where Mike Portnoy lets rip on some seriously heavy drumming.

‘Kayla’ shows what a find Casey McPherson is, the nearest comparison I can think of would be Myles Kennedy mainly in the way his vocal swoops effortlessly between loud and quiet singing. There is a spine tingling harmony vocal mid-section on this song, a trademark of Neal Morse. The band pomp it up on ‘Love Is What I am Waiting For’, mixing the grandeur of ELO and some Brian May approved guitar playing. ‘All Falls Down’ again shows Steve Morse firing out tasty solos and the music has hints of Muse in it. There is only one epic song ‘Infinite Fire’, where the band successfully meld their prog leanings with a pop sensibility.

They have successfully made an album that will appeal to prog fans due to the musicianship and draw a wider audience with the band’s keen ear for writing instant choruses and memorable melodies. I really hope Flying Colors get a chance to make at least one more album as they are just so damn good on this one.

****1/2

Jason Ritchie




The latest Josh Taerk live session was streamed on Sunday 26 September. This marked the start of a new monthly series.


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 12 September 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 14 September 2021.


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Featured Albums w/c 20 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 HEARTLAND Into The Future (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 VEGA Anarchy And Unity (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 JACKSON BROWNE Downhill From Everywhere (indie)

Power Plays w/c 20 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

BAD TOUCH Twenty Five Miles (Marshall)
THE HUMAN VEIL Enemies (indie)
DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY Now’s The Time (Golden Robot Records)
VANSLEEP Oceans (indie)
TRUE NORTH Save Me (Out Of Line Music)
SORROW & THE SPIRE In The City Tonight (Golden Robot Records)



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