Riverside is the best new band I’ve heard in ten years.
In fact, had I looked for them any earlier, they would have been impossible to find. Not because the band is from Poland. Not because they weren’t popular. But because the band started taking critics by surprise when they played live for the first time in just 2002. I must tell you that my standards in a group are very high. Most bands don’t cut it with me. When I’m going to invest my time with a group, I choose carefully. And you know that if you choose right, you become a part of the group’s message and grow old with them.
Having long been a fan of progressive rock, my groups must be overwhelmingly competent. My definition of an intelligent person’s rock band would be Spock’s Beard, Dream Theater, Flower Kings, Transatlantic, Yes, early Genesis… well…you get the idea. Nowadays, it’s really hard to find exceptional music in the ‘progressive’ genre to invest in. It’s not unlike a 35 year old twice-divorced man who begins dating again. He knows the field and most of the field is not to his liking because he’s seen all of the hooks and tricks before.
But Riverside is like a fresh lover. Fresh, naughty, experienced, playfully naive, and ready to teach you.
So one day, while searching for a new lover amongst the cross-listings of NEO-PROGRESSIVE ROCK at Amazon.com, one band stood out. I mean REALLY stood out. People had nothing but heaps and mounds of praise for Riverside. Pretty unusual for a group which never played outside of their home country and were overrun by fans at their first gig. But like computer dating, just because the profile seems be a good match on paper, the truth is meeting your date face-to-face, or in this case ‘ear-to-ear’. I want you to listen to Riverside.
You’re getting in on the ground floor here. I’m giving away bits and pieces of the band because they seem too good to believe. Would you believe that there are an incredible 94 reviews of the band’s first album, ‘Out of Myself’ carefully compiled and linked on the band’s website. All of them are overwhelmingly positive. There are even reviews of their self-financed 300 copy promo CD! Riverside has only just released their second album “Second Life Syndrome”(yes folks, only their second) and has kept the critics raving. 137 reviews – 137 double-thumbs up.
If you’re in the states and have never heard of Riverside, don’t be alarmed. The group was invited to NearFEST last year (2005) but was not able to attend. Not that they didn’t want to (it’s progressive rock’s highest showcase). They wanted to, but passport pleas fell on the deaf ears of the authorities. In June 2006 Riverside will make their impact on the international rock scene properly. Watch and see. It’s actually not a hard prediction to make (word has it that Nearfest SOLD OUT in 30 minutes)
Some thoughts about Riverside. . . (while in a deep dreamy state of Vulcan mind-meld)
blend of prog rock, art rock, and ambitious music
sensitive lyrics.. straight to the heart
an intravenous injection of music
a critics’ joy!
raw talent, clear focus
it’s all about… finding YOURSELF
Follow my name
Follow my sin
Wearing my mask
Cover my fear
All of my blame
All in my place
Wearing my mask
Cover my shame
We are so far from understand
We are so far from
“we can take”
ONWARD AND UPWARD
To be at the right place at the right time requires luck and synchronicity. I’ve seen some fantastic live photographs that have accurately captured in pixels what must be the live energy of the band. I can only imagine. Riverside is a rare treat that must be shared. 5 Stars!