I've waxed poetic a lot in this space about the stellar quality of output from CT bands over the last few years. One band that I really believe has a chance to help stamp the CT music scene into the broader national conscience is 1974.
The Return is an apropos name for this EP after the release of last year's epic full length. This album is honestly a direct continuation of where 1974 left off. I mentioned in my blurb about 1974 & The Battle For The Lazer Fortress that the album actually seemed to evolve into a pseudo pop/prog hybrid by the end of the record and that if you came in looking for the big, heavy, chunky, metal leaning riffs that the first half of the album would be your cup of tea for sure. This album sets up like a miniature version of that with huge, massive epic songs early on and then moving to a more pop oriented sound.
Now, I'm not saying this band is going to show up on the local Top 40 station anytime soon. But songs like "Jubilation" and "Walk In Place" although maintaining their prog sensibilities are songs that people who don't like Yes or King Crimson or Porcupine Tree can find entertaining. They are also going to find themselves singing aloud to the choruses as 1974 once again proves they can write a song with a massive hook that always gets their fans involved. With all of that said songs like the opener "The Stirring"; and "A Sickening Silence" are pure rock n' roll masterpieces and some of the best nine or so minutes of music this band has penned. If you are looking for a chill-inducing riff or breakdown in a song then you should probably start here.
Overall the band clearly took the time to experiment a little in an effort to expand their sound (added percussion in certain parts, beautiful piano interlude to close out the album, and more acoustic guitar than I expected for example). But they also clearly took time to hone their craft (the shared and soaring lead vocal duties and overall backing vocals are maybe even better on this release than on the full length and the aforementioned guitar riffs are just delicious). But where a lot of bands fail when they try too hard to experiment with their sound, 1974 once again comes out the other end of the exercise completely triumphant. This album, just like the full length before it, deserves your immediate and undivided attention.