Progressive Rock and the Pacific Northwest have always had a bit of a strained relationship; which is odd really. You would think that an area as densely populated by what has been termed “the neo-hipster movement” would dovetail perfectly with the typical “My music is better than yours” mentality of most prog-rockers on the planet. Truth be told, I can get a bit Frasier-esque myself once you start me talking about progressive rock (and especially bands like Rush and their “The Next Generation” counterpart – Dream Theater).
But the fan-base and love for modern day progressive rock rumbles beneath the surface of the more typical blues based fandom found among the Seattle area music scene…as was evidenced by the fantastic turnout at a recent headlining show by old-school progressive metal legends Fates Warning. It was at this packed Studio Seven show, that I was completely blown away by local progressive rock band Graphic Light Theory. After the show, I spoke with lead singer Sean Thompson, and we geeked out for a while about our favorite progressive bands (I’m certain we must have sounded like Frasier and Niles to anyone within earshot). But it was at this point he informed me Graphic Light Theory was essentially going on hiatus to write new material, and all his energy was going into his project with two other members of Graphic Light Theory, and he handed me the latest CD from this project…ODD LOGIC.
From the moment I put this CD on (entitled “If We Were Live”) I was so blown away, not only by the song structures and musical execution, but also by the amazing production on the album. A “concept album” of sorts, If We Were Live does not have the narrative story line of a typical concept album, but instead places us in the midst of an imaginary concert, complete with arrival at the venue, introduction of the band, tastefully done during and between song “crowd noise”, an encore with an older track being played with an audience sing-along, and even a post-show exit with surprise twist. Currently, this is not just my favorite local band, but one of my favorite bands that I have discovered in the last several years PERIOD. While several local bands have captured my heart over the decades, none have really captured the spirit and taken hold of the progressive rock flame (said with a big wink to all of us who remember Queensryche in their glory years) in several decades.
If you are at all a fan of old-school Queensryche, Rush, and Fates Warning…and maybe are a bit tired of the wankery that can sometimes be associated with Dream Theater, and you’re looking for a more tasteful approach to the genre, you really need to check out Odd Logic. While their newest album is their best to date, their back catalog shows an amazing amount of original ideas and beautiful off-kilter rhythms that will keep any fan of progressive music coming back for more. Any fans of the Kate Beckinsale movie Underworld, take note. The Odd Logic album “Over the Underworld” is meant to be synced up and played with a section of the movie ala Dark Side of the Moon and The Wizard of Oz. The sync up is amazing; you will be floored with how much it enhances the experience of both the movie and the music.
Odd Logic is:
Sean Thompson – Vox/Guitars
Stephen Pierce – Guitars
Kevin Hunter – Keys
Steve Eller – Bass
Dan Blackson – Drums
Parallax Paranorma (2004)
Legends of Monta: Part 1 (2006)
Legends of Monta: Part 2 (2009)
Over the Underworld (2011)
If We Were Live (2013)
Full review of “If We Were Live” on The Jammin Dude Show: