“Tectonic in nature, Lobate Scarps are long curvilinear structures found on some planetary bodies.”
The definition may be somewhat convoluted; however, there is nothing convoluted about the sixty-six minutes of sonic purity on display here. Actually, I’m perhaps paying the band a huge disservice as, no doubt, bona fide musicians will testify that this nine-track album is overflowing with intricate compositions carried along on carefully constructed melodies, and delivered by technically accomplished musicians at the top of
their game. But, to us mere consumers, ‘You Have It All’ is simply stunning and easy to digest, whilst leaving an after-taste that lingers lusciously long after its conclusion.
This is Lobate Scarp’s sophomore album, following on from their 2012 debut ‘Time And Space’. To these ears, this is quintessential English Prog Rock from the seventies embellished with a modern vibe, and brought to you by a Los Angeles- based outfit whose (touring) nucleus comprises Adam Sears (vocals, keys), Peter Matuchniak (guitars), Evan Michael Hart (drums), Andy Catt (bass) and Christina Burbano-Jeffrey (violin). In addition to this core, there are a multitude of supporting artistes that elevate this studio soundscape to nose-bleeding heights. Among those alumni are Jon Davison and Billy Sherwood (Yes), Ryo Okomoto (Spock’s Beard) and Jimmy Keegan (Spock’s Beard, Pattern Seeking Animals), to name just four. The icing on this (loosely) conceptual cake has to be the woodwind and stringed instrumentation that weaves its spellbinding magic throughout.
So, if you can imagine a delicate, somewhat mellifluous blend of Yes, Camel, early-to-mid-era Genesis, Pink Floyd and Kansas, mixed with the best of Spock’s Beard, The Tangent and Transatlantic, then you should grasp the exquisiteness that’s on display. As with many a Prog offering, there are instrumentals short and long (‘In The Night I’ and opener ‘Conduit’), a brief balladic interlude (‘In The Night II’), several five-to-eight-minute compositions (‘Nothing Wrong’, ‘Life-Line’, ‘Beautiful Light’ and ‘Our Test Tube Universe’), and two Prog epics (‘You Have It All’ and the five-part-finale ‘Flowing Through The Change’). All compositions evoke positivity and a strong feeling of mental well-being.
To wax lyrical about every twist and turn of this album would need at least a thousand words, which I haven’t got. It would also spoil the “experience of discovery” that is awaiting every Prog connoisseur who constantly searches for that “Holy Grail”; here, you really do have it all.
An “album of the year” contender, without question.