Eye in the . . .

I'm definitely in the minority here, but I think the Alan Parsons Project is among the underrated acts of the 70s (and early 80s). Parsons, of course, engineered Abbey Road, Let It Be and Dark Side of the Moon, but the music he created with singer Eric Woolfson was often nearly as impressive. In those dark days, keyboards were often used as window dressing (or worse), but Parsons had an ear for not only how to use keyboards, but what type of keyboard to use on a particular song.

This Bluebird Wants Me Dead

I say this because "Projections," the first track on Vehicles's new album, is an alternate-universe version of APP's "You Don't Believe." And that's completely awesome.

In general, though, Vehicles trends toward the more manic, new-wavy 80s pop sound. The creative keyboards are there, as are some wonderful crashing guitars. Some wags might call this Pink Floyd that actually kicks ass. I've never been a Floyd fan (gasp!), but I can certainly hear a few parallels. There's also a definite nod to the Edge's ringing guitar sound, though the lines here are completely different.

Kinda as if Vehicles decided to take a bunch of elements from the 70s and 80s and slice-and-dice them into an entirely new hash. I'm beginning to sense a similar theme in a lot of the albums I've heard this spring, so this sound isn't as fresh as I might have thought it a year ago. Nonetheless, this is one of the best presentations of a coming sound.

And those anthemic hooks! Plenty of soar and very little bloat. Vehicles keep the trim lean and take as much wind as possible (if that's a completely incorrect use of pseudo sailing talk, my apologies). Lovely and addictive.

Jon Worley

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