So this evening I decided to check out some newer Prog Rock than early 70s Genesis and Gentle Giant. Now there’s nothing wrong with either of those bands, I just want to check out the new stuff, too. So I went back to the Prog Archives and looked at the list of Best ProgRock albums of 2010-11 and 12, because the album at number 7 King of Number 33 was released in 2012 and is the second release from DeeExpus.
DeeExpus hails from North East England and was formed when Andy Ditchfield decided to turn his long time solo project into a full time band. The first member of DeeExpus beside Ditchfield was a former school band mate of Ditchfield Tony Wright. After a chance encounter Ditchfield and Wright wanted to form a band, but they found that they both worked so well together they just put together their first album Halfway Home with just a few guest artists helping them out. After the success of that album they did put a band together, recorded a live CD, and went to work on the second album, The King of Number 33, which is the one I listened to tonight.
The current line-up of the band includes: Andy on guitar, Tony Wright, John Dawson on bass guitar, Michael McCrystal, guitars, Mark Kelly from Marillion on keyboards, due to an illness(SSHL)Kelly does not perform live and live keyboard play is handled by Mike Varty.
The album consists of three tracks, “Me and My Downfall”, “Maybe September” and “Marty and the Magic Moose” before the 26 minute epic “King of Number 33”, which consists of 6 parts. As I listened to the songs, I realized that what I liked about ProgRock is the instrumentation and the arrangements. One minute guitars can be wailing and the next there’s a nice piano interlude and it all fits together! It’s certainly not music that you for the most part you don’t sing along to, but rather just as I say you drift along with it, kinda’ just going with the flow of the music. The album ends with “Memo”. Here’s a live performance of that track from this year’s Rosfest held in Gettysburg, Pa. (Now Andrew, tell me what more I should know!)