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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Flight (Indiana), USA

Flight - Take a Long Look. 1974 Airborne / QCA

This is the CDRWL's second band to be featured who chose the name Flight, and is not related to the much more common Florida based band.

QCA (Queen City Albums), from Cincinnati (naturally enough, since Cincy is known as the "Queen City"), is like Rite Records or RPC in that they were a custom pressing plant. Their main raison d'etre was to press demo albums to shop around for a label deal. Which explains why many of these type of albums are extremely scarce and usually have poor sound. Due to the label being from Cincinnati, everyone just presumed the band was from there as well. However there has been at least one former ebay auction where the dealer stated they were most assuredly from Fort Wayne, Indiana - the same town that Ethos were from!

This is another goldmine discovery from the master digger himself: The AC. Let's get his perspective first: "While this is technically a "midwestern prog" album, it came out on the earlier side of that whole scene, and tends to be a little smoother and more song-oriented than much of the region's output. There are some attempts at more adventurous instrumental sections, but it never really gets too complex. The organ work is nice (though the few synth lines are quite crude), but the guitar is generally relegated to a background role, and the production is somewhat muffled throughout. In general, I'd say that they were heavily influenced by the simpler, more melodic side of the early British progressive movement, rather than the hyper-complex Yes/Gentle Giant styling that many of their compatriots ended up going for. To be honest, I was a little underwhelmed by this at first, and it does kind of just plod along at times. However, it did grow on me quite a bit after a while, and is a likable effort overall."

Not surprisingly, I concur with The AC's findings. Even though it's Midwestern by locale, musically it reminds me of the more song-oriented UK underground circa 1971. Bands like Still Life or Noir came to mind, though certainly not as compelling as those. It's slow moving, with organ as the dominant instrument. The songs are well crafted though, and the band most certainly had talent. It would have been interesting to hear what they could have come up with had they the proper financial support and appropriate studio time. As stated earlier, the album is definitely a demo, and possesses a muddy sound.

"Take a Long Look" is not a good choice for a reissue - unless the band wants to reform and expound upon these ideas further. Or there's a studio tape hiding in the closet. Definitely worth hearing, though, if you get the chance.

Priority: none

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