Shogun Kunitoki Tasankokaiku

Shogun Kunitoki are an idyllic prog rock quartet from Helsinki whose debut has arrived to wrap you up with high-pitched keyboard lines and rhythm section complexities galore. Like much hey-day prog rock (think stuff like Egg, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Yes — without the pompous ambitions), Shogun Kunitoki may be a little too synth-led and classically structured for a lot of freaky music fans, but for those with a soft spot for the majestic and regal, this stuff is going to crown you king or queen of your own delightful and imaginative village. There are so many memorable moments throughout Tasankokaiku: "Daniel” swooshes over plateaus and valleys with soaring clarity as the airy tension builds to a wonderful climax, opener "Montezuma” gets things off to a relevant start with its intertwining bass-heavy locked grooves and mosaic of keyboard leads, and "1918-1926” stutters and staccatos itself with stabs fit enough to rival those of Montreal’s Fly Pan Am. Outside of these isolated incidents, Tasankokaiku steadily flows with the richness of aged wine, effectively updating and paying timely homage to a sound and style that they’ve injected with a freshness that helps it far surpass the attempts of many others. (Stand Up/Green Light)