Review Summary: Inspired by old school progressive rock with classical and jazz leanings, but skipping on indulgence.
So much flak has been thrown at what could be called ‘classic progressive rock’, ie bands like Yes, King Crimson, and countless others that things have lost any sense. True, the same countless others did produce senseless exercises in instrumental and vocal show-off devoid of any rhyme or reason, but what is being forgotten that quite a few bands and musicians working within that genre then and today did come up with some very intricate, well thought-out and brilliantly played music, quite often straddling many genres that is worth a listen for any true music lover and fan.
Luckily, Fracktura, a trio out of Cincinnati, led by Brazilian composer/lyricist and all-around guitar player Andre Machado (the other two members are singer Karis Tucker and keys and synths player Henry Conde), don’t seem to care wishing which genre they are or will be tagged with, concentrating solely on music that sounds good. Judging by their recent EP Oculus, they are on the right track as far as good music is concerned.
On the evidence of Oculus, Fracktura seems to concentrate more on what sounds good to them than on what genre they are going to fit in. The introductory “You” starts with Karis’ multi-tracked acapella vocals and then turns into a modern classical piece akin to a Philip Glass/John Cage combination. “Gold Spectrum” shows their admiration for early prog ‘classics’ like Robert Fripp’s King Crimson (particularly evident in Machado’s guitar playing), but also mid-period Soft Machine, circa their numbered albums (Three to Six). “The Fear Peddler” at the start again leans a bit on Crimson, but this time around it is more the Larks Tongues In Aspic period and then suddenly switches to a kind of joint Hawkwind/Tangerine Dram effort on a horror movie soundtrack. The concluding “Identitade” is like the introductory theme more classically oriented and would seem to fit along early Kate Bush and solo Peter Gabriel material, although Karis Tucker’s voice is more akin to that of current indie fave Marissa Nadler that either Kate Bush herself or the prog stalwart Sonja Christina of Curved Air.
Since Fracktura officially came into existence in 2016 and only produced a single before Oculus, this is just a promising start and only a proper album or two will show in which progressive group they should be classified in - the one to avoid or the one to listen to.