Those of you who know of Spock’s Beard may have heard of P-SA. These fellows are ‘art rock/progressive based in Los Angeles’, and one listen to their debut should convince anyone of that. Opener No Burden to Carry starts things off in pretty proggy fashion, but then who would expect anything less from this outfit? According to John,’the 2nd album is already well under way‘. Evidently his original intention had just been a place to find for his ‘extra songs’. So, for those of you keeping track, P-SA began as an outlet for those. As things progressed, it became evident that they wanted to take the material out on the road and play it live. I just adore stories like that! By the way, do songwriters/musicians normally experience such a song surplus? Inquiring minds would love to know.
The Same Mistakes Again, while a bit shorter than its predecessor, is just as potent and muscular. It is more of a mellow number, almost a ballad. There is some wonderful guitar and piano work throughout. It has its rockier moments, as do the majority of the tracks. There is something grandiose, a bit stately, if you will, about this particular number. It has an urgency, but it also has a corner on timing that most melodic ballads may lack. These guys can rock your face off, but they can also tug at your heartstrings.
Orphans of the Universe is up next, and it is another behemoth prog number. A full ten-and-a-half minutes in length, dare we use the word epic here? There are, of course, two others of comparable length, No Burden to Carry and closer Stars Along the Way. I think we may learn something here, as John has told us that it doesn’t ‘matter really about song length – we wanted to instill chord changes and shake things up with the short ones as well’. Normally when we think of prog, we think of longer numbers. However, I think it can clearly be stated that sheer length for the purpose of length is a waste of time. If the tunes aren’t musically interesting, then why widdle away for 10 or 20 minutes?
No One Ever Died and Made Me King gets 5 cool points just for its title. This and the next four jams are all shorter numbers, which of course makes them eligible for ‘prog radio’, if there is indeed such a things anymore. Shout out to Asheville, North Carolina’s Asheville FM and their program ‘Closer to the Edge‘, who have already played the single! Bottom line is this, folks; whether you like your prog short or long, P-SA will definitely be prog perfection for your ears! Dig in!
1. No Burden Left to Carry
2. The Same Mistakes Again
3. Orphans of the Universe
4. No One Every Died and Made Me King
5. Fall Away
6. These Are My Things
7. We Write the Ghost Stories
8. No Land's Man
9. Stars Along the Way
Playing Time: 58 minutes and 8 seconds
John Boegehold (keys)
Ted Leonard (lead vocal & guitar)
Dave Meros (bass)
Jimmy Keegan (drums & vocals)