March 2, 2022

Movers are a young American group from Georgia who manage to sound wonderfully modern while at the same time visibly influenced by the classic rock of the ‘70s, and first and foremost Rush. Those Rush influences are most evident in the opening and closing tracks of this six-track album. Opener and lead single, The Race opens with synth chords and a dynamic bass line which is enough to catapult you back to mid-period Rush, and to be precise to the soundscape of 1984’s Grace Under Pressure. The vocal phrasing and the clever construction of the song all hark back to that same Rush period. Despite the clear derivation, it’s a fine song all the same and could have sat unashamedly on Grace Under Pressure without being overshadowed.

This is the group’s sophomore effort. Last year’s debut self-titled album was a solid release, even if a little less polished and barely lasting thirty minutes. More than a third of that was taken up by a piece entitled (take a deep breath!) Marcus’ Desolation Chapter I: Earth’s Demise (I. Physical, II. Spiritual, III. Sun Song). In Futurist At The End Of Time, the album closes with Chapter II of the same story, this time in six parts, lasting fifteen minutes, and with the ridiculously long title of Marcus’ Desolation Chapter II: War Of The Heavens) (I. Overture, II. The Aether, III. Birth Of Marcus, IV. Marcus And Hades, V. Desolation, VI. Reconciliation). Ah, ‘they are copying Rush’s Cygnus X-1 trick of spreading a story across two albums’ I hear you cry, albeit with ‘chapters’ rather than ‘books’ which might hint at more episodes to come. Anyway, musically, this suite begins with a brilliant instrumental overture which lays out the main themes, all of which are infused with a guitar-driven ‘70s Rush sound. The overture concludes with a drum roll, and you sort of expect to hear the guys sing ‘And the meek shall inherit the Earth’ but instead we get distorted spoken words leading to an epic falling chord sequence and the piece then evolves in a more progressive rock style while still maintaining that Rush feel. Again, it’s a very well-constructed song which doesn’t drag in any way and it’s a fitting way to close the album.

In comparison to that grandiose six-part epic, and perhaps rather oddly, the title track comes in at less than two minutes. It’s a simple piece consisting of vocals and acoustic guitars. It has a fine melody and shows another side of the band completely. In some ways, it plays the same important contrasting role as Wish You Were Here in Pink Floyd’s album of the same name. Speaking of Floyd, the other lengthy track, Spiders In The Woodwork, evolves out of a very Floydian soundscape before mixing heavier guitar and some jazzy keyboards in an intriguing combination.  All In Good Time also has more of a prog feel to it, this time the slow melodic piece reminding me of early Barclay James Harvest.

There’s something youthful and fresh about this music that’s quite infectious. They may not be a bona fide classic amongst these six songs, but there are no duds, and there’s plenty to enjoy. If like me, you listen to those old Rush albums thinking ‘they don’t make them like that anymore’, then listen to this because there are young bands out there that still do!