Avant garde Los Angeles prog rock outfit Perfect Beings formed in 2012 after the dissolution of guitarist Johannes Luley’s previous band Moth Vellum. Their 2014 self titled debut was lavished with praise and rightly so, it is intelligent prog with a keen sense of melody. The follow up, cunningly titled “Perfect Beings II”, continues where it’s predecessor left off – offering up sleek yet intelligent prog.
Their sound is unique and draws from various sources, Yes, Pink Floyd and Genesis with a whiff of The Beatles. The jolly clap happy opening cut ‘Mar Del Fuego’ skips along wonderfully, channelling their love of Yes. ‘The Yard’ is underlined by a Beatles esque piano melody accompanied by jazzy musical meanderings, all moving at a decidedly leisurely pace. This leisurely pace is expressive of the album’s relaxed atmosphere, with the mood veering toward melancholy at times. This oddly relaxing yet melancholic aura permeates ‘Cryogenia’, with it’s subtle hints of Pink Floyd. ‘Volcanic Streams’ starts off in a brooding, dark and distorted manner, gently transforming into a sea of tranquillity and calmness later on.
This record adheres to the time honoured prog tradition of mid song change and evolution, it is overflowing with a multitude of musical styles and time signatures. ‘The Love Inside’ for instance is initially led by a light piano melody but it soon morphs midway, indulging in some expert virtuosity courtesy of keyboardist Jesse Nason and guitarist Johannes Luley. ‘Go’ is also very changeable, the funky bass of Chris Tristam and the ever-present yet light synth dominate the start along with the McCartney like vocals of Ryan Hurtgen. All this before the sands shift and things get rather eerie, with some brilliant drum work by Dicki Flizsar. Despite it’s inherently changeable and proggy nature, the song is wrapped up in under five minutes. This impressive sense of economy goes for the album as a whole, it fits 10 songs into its 49 minute running time.
On “II”, Perfect Beings draw from a myriad of influences from across the musical spectrum and manage to make accessible yet intricate prog rock. Although accessible it may be, it’s not the kind of music you can just pick up and drop off at a moments notice. To appreciate it you have to be in the right frame of mind, to just sit back and soak it all in.
Perfect Beings – Official Website