Bewildering, witty, freewheeling-yet-meticulous jazz-meets-rock-meets-contemporary classical (and they all somehow get on and have a pleasant evening together). Strong shades of Canterbury Scene (and even Zeuhl in places?) but ultimately Elmquist and co appear to be very much doing their own thing with scant regard for how anyone else may contextualise it. I'd say that's a pretty laudable endeavour.
Despite more than a casual tip of the hat to the likes of Gentle Giant, Yes, Phish etc., Fifth Species are undoubtedly doing their own thing. What's more, they're doing it well. Catchy, wonky, engaging and fun. A most impressive debut album.
Pure concentrated slabs of greasy, nutritious wonk. Prescott seem to exist in their own pocket universe devoid of musical genre or context, and they're all the better for that. Keith Moliné's twangy surf-like guitar is a lovely addition, building nicely on the sound established on their debut album. My favourite album of 2017.
So the Hurdy-Gurdy is the obvious draw here, but even with more conventional instrumentation this would be a strong album, full of solid instrumental prog/fusion that pulls influences from a variety of genres with tight, engaging arrangements. The unique sound of the Hurdy-Gurdy is what elevates it to something special, though.
Dripping with influences from prog bands of yore (and not just the obvious ones), yet still fresh, fun and uniquely Dan Britton. Out of everything he's put out, both under this moniker and as Deluge Grander, this remains for me the pinnacle. Packed with melody, complexity and charming eccentricity.