A Finnish progressive rock collective, Grus Paridae exist in the same sphere as Flower Kings, Transatlantic and their ilk, their dreamy, ethereal take on progressive rock bringing to mind the likes of Pink Floyd, King Crimson and Genesis. This two track single is a sweet introduction to the band which demonstrates not only the instrumental prowess of those involved but also a gorgeous melodic nous that gets its hooks under the skin in much the same way that those vintage Peter Gabriel fronted Genesis records did, and certainly this all-too-brief introduction to the band leaves the listener wanting more.
A string-laden and quite haunting track, ‘Passes by’ (which you can also view in the Youtube clip below) is a beautiful piece of music that combines the folk-infused whimsy of early King Crimson with the stately guitar work of David Gilmour. This, combined with the lush vocal harmonies make for a compelling listen that seems to shimmer in the early morning light. It’s a lovely song that evokes bittersweet memories and offers an enticing snapshot of the band. In contrast ‘inheritance of devotion’ is an awkwardly timed piece that has more in common with the complex insanity of Gong coupled with the jazzy progressions of Jeff Beck. A tantalising glimpse of what might have happened if Genesis had continued on the path laid down by ‘Selling England By The Pound’, ‘Inheritance of devotion’ is the more interesting track whilst ‘passes by’ is the more beautiful and the combination of the two suggests great things of a future album from the band.
This brief single is a gift for the progressive fan. It references the past but offers up a cheeky glimpse of the future as Grus Paridae incorporate numerous elements into their evocative, ever-changing sound. Single is never the easiest media upon which to judge a progressive band (imagine judging Pink Floyd’s output on ‘money’ for example), but this two track effort has, nonetheless, managed to capture a sense of excitement and exploration in Grus Paridae’s music and it has certainly whetted my appetite for a full-length release. 9