’mēk is a Progressive Space Rock band from Corona, CA. They were formed by Tye Zamora (bass, vocals – formerly of Alien Ant Farm) with the help of Joe Hill (guitar) and Dan Hill (drums). They have completed and released a brand new Sci-Fi concept album called “Red Sprite Lightning”. This album couldn’t be more rewarding, and only gets better every time you listen to it. You hear new things with every listen, and I really can’t see myself ever getting sick of any of the songs here. The tracks constantly reward their own curiosity, finding new paths and segues everywhere, seamlessly transitioning and ebbing into and out of breakdowns and deconstructions, and constantly shifting back and forth in the different levels established within each song.
Sonically, the ’mēk recalls the best of progressive’s past and present. But these are not overlong or pretentious prog-rock arrangements with a series of pyrotechnical solos. They take the in-your-face aggression of alternative rock and put it side-by-side with darkly beautiful ballads, compelling soundscapes, metrically complex and angular riffs.
This recording can’t be described without referring to pure emotional energy. The tracks rapture between so many distinct styles and contrary to nearly every other band in music today, the ’mēk suffer from an abundance of ideas and concepts, not a lack thereof.
’mēk make sensible music out of genres skewed and scattered across the sonic spectrum to create an album that’s at once compressed and boundless, and claustrophobic and expansive. Hear those contrasts in the upbeat rocker “Here We Are” and mid tempo groove of the harmony filled “Storm In Your Eyes”, or the harsh “Condition Unstable” and piano dominated intro of “Alone”.
In a time where originality is drowned beneath a muddled mess of mediocrity, in a period when retro bands clog all indie stratums, in an era where punk’s been annexed by the prefix of pop, art is lost and forgotten, ignored and betrayed. ’mēk, above all the genres they transpose and trends they lay to waste, stand as an outfit determined to inspire and uplift art from its current dormancy.
The album is equally full of high-octane, energy driven anthems as it is with slow-burning gems, such as “Dreaming”, “Floating Away” and “We’re In Trouble”. But what ultimately makes this album so relentlessly fascinating is there’s always something going on that’s uniquely intriguing, whether it’s a spiky guitar part, an explosive polyrhythmic groove, or a catchy chanted chorus.
If the phrase, “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away”, is true, then ’mēk have totally nailed formula. Their music is melodic, groovy and downright rocking. Every song on this album can stand entirely on its own, yet as a whole it creates a story, where Tye Zamora’s lyrics tell the tale of a doomed planet from a Sci-Fi perspective.
“Red Sprite Lightning” shows a band honing their eruptive sound and bringing it into tight focus, routinely pushing their music to the wall without ever risking a breach. The balance between the full on loud, progressive guitar rock with amazing drums and bass, together with the mellow parts and all kinds of melody and harmony is one of perfection.
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Author: Jacob Aiden
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