Wow, this is extremely fun!!! Sort of like a marriage between Gentle Giant and Zappa/ Mothers Of Invention during the Apostrophe/Roxy & Elsewhere/One Size Fits All era.
Nothing on this release is in the least bit “commercial,” but is nevertheless melodic, with some vocal sections (most very Zappa-esque) even catchy. The instrumentation throughout is quirky, often jazzy, and wonderfully impressive. Along with some Zappa-like guitar soloing on occasion, there’s also a heavy emphasis on keyboards, many sounding like older synthesizers (which is where much of the Gentle Giant/Zappa comparisons pop up) with even a Mellotron tossed in for extra pizzazz (and fairly dominant) on the track “Thylacine.”
Generally speaking, the title of this release, Architecture of the Absurd, perfectly describes the 7 diverse tracks contained within. Now I can only pray the band releases more of the same type of material…and soon! Prog-rock these days has a tendency to get rather boring (there’s too much “atmospheric prog-rock” along the lines of Porcupine Tree, Riverside, and Pink Floyd-wannabes droning on and on album after album with lazy rhythms and keyboard washes). So bands such as Beluga, with odd and often-changing time signatures, complicated and upbeat arrangements, and impressively diverse instrumentation are sorely required to keep things exciting. Toss in some fun and quirky melodies and what you have here is something that reminds me why I fell in love with prog-rock many decades ago.