A few months ago, DispersE pretty much destroyed the entire nu-prog scene (except for a few select artists, like Plini, bless his magic hands) with their Foreword, displaying everything that is sorely lacking within the sub-genre. Nothing was more blatantly on point than its structure, a thing which most bands in the genre have completely abandoned in favor of flash. Luckily, like DispersE, some bands out there are still concerned with making actual songs. Like Soap Revelations. If the band’s name, and the comparison to DispersE and Plini, doesn’t already tell you everything that you need to know, simply head on down below to listen to “The Willow House”. All your questions will be answered promptly.

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Oh boy, so much groove! The wonderfully named Little Oceans is filled with tracks like this one; they’re brimming with guitar technicality and focus but are also encapsulated in actual song progressions and structure. The album develops the directions implicit in this, the first track, into many directions, most of them very influenced by Plini. Check out “Town of Cats” right after this one: the guitar is more lonesome but also, somehow, more playful and the sample near the middle of the track infects everything with a sense of grandeur and delivery. While there are some missteps along the album, perhaps hinting at a certain overreaching at times, most of it is highly pleasing stuff like this, guitar music done very, very well.

More of this please, nu-prog. Soap Revelations show that there’s no need to compromise on skill level or technicality when making this kind of music; you just need to know how to wrap everything in a package which makes some sense and orients the listener towards what you have say. And it’s really fun when it works. There’s no better smiling music out there and I feel like we all need some smiles right now. At least I do.

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