We Came From Space creates prog-heavy pop with enough edge to keep things visceral, and enough intelligent composition and virtuosic playing to keep things musically exciting.
How to be Human
We Came From Space
We Came From Space Music
12 tracks 50:57
Accessible prog with a sense of humor. Any group called We Came From Space is either having fun or is in serious need of a reality check – thankfully, these are four very talented guys having lots of fun and making some pretty good music at the same time.
At first blush, "Solar Powered Sun," with its cosmic imagery, mellotron sounds, and words like entropy, had me thinking Moody Blues – but with less pretentiousness. The boys in the band get down to earth pretty quickly, despite their otherworldly name, with songs that cover everything from debt ("Cat Caught Rat") to post break-up satisfaction ("Wish This on You") to some genuinely thoughtful stuff about life ("Waterline / Change Within").
Musically, Bill Hubauer (Vocals, Keyboards, Acoustic Guitar, Violin, Mandolin), Dave Buzard (Vocals, Electric Guitars, Improvised Percussion), Bret Talbert (Vocals, Drums), and Mike Kurtz (Vocals, Bass) create stunning prog-heavy pop with enough edge to keep things visceral and enough intelligent composition and virtuosic playing to keep things musically exciting. Unlike a lot of prog, the songs are less than epic in scope and have good hooks to hang onto. There are fine moments from every player, although Hubauer (who has recently toured as the 'everything' guy in Neal Morse's band) and Buzard stand out with several masterful keyboard and guitar moments.
We Came From Space is a refreshing musical unit that combines the commercial viability of Kansas with a classic rock approach that includes hints of Crosby, Stills, and Nash harmony ("Waterline / Change Within") and even occasional subtle Beatles references. The sound of needle-on-vinyl at the start of the caustic "Pretty's All You've Got," and especially the sound of a tone-arm lifting off a turntable and going back to its dock reinforces the homage to the classic rock era (and warmed the cockles of my rock & roll heart) – 'side 1' and 'side 2' are even indicated on the package art.
How to Be Human rocks for sure, but in an intelligent Steely Dan kind of way – as if Becker and Fagan tried to do a Yes tribute album. Although some of the lead vocal work is a little too 'clean' to be interesting, this would be the only area where improvement could be made – the harmonies are wonderful, though, and help set this apart from other groups in a similar wheelhouse.
Hubauer, Buzard, Talbert, and Kurtz have the talent, creativity, and sense of humor to back up their impressive musical chops with interesting and intense proggy rock and roll. Or rocky prog-pop. Or whatever-- they came from space, after all.