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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Xebec, USA

Xebec - Studio & Live (USA, 1975, Private)

Xebec are one of America's many "lost" progressive rock bands of the 1970s. They existed for a few years in the fertile prog underground scene of the upper midwest (Grand Rapids, Michigan in this case), but only managed to release one virtually unknown EP before packing it in and going their separate ways. However, like many such bands, there is more unheard material sitting in the vault, so to speak. The studio tracks consist of one instrumental original and a very intriguing cover of Touch's seminal "Seventy Five", given a mid 70s midwestern prog makeover. The lengthy and fairly well recorded (though a bit rough in spots) live set consists of a few originals and a number of covers, this time including Yes, Genesis, and Gentle Giant, but once again sounding so distinctly midwest prog as to almost become their own unique entities. The originals are a mixture of very Yes-inspired progressive songs and a couple of more experimental instrumental tracks, including an alternately spacey and aggressive 9+ minute number that's pretty amazing. Back in the heyday of US prog reissues/archival releases, I could have seen labels like Syn-Phonic or Shroom putting this material out, but these days I'm not sure it would fly. Regardless, this stuff is pure gold for those interested in this particular time, place and style.

This one sounds right up my alley!!

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