Posted on: November 30, 2021 Posted by: Kim Muncie Comments: 0

Sometimes, in order to create fluidity in an exceptionally conceptual piece of music, you’ve got to utilize contrast a little more than the status quo calls for, and I think this is definitely true in the new extended play Equinox by Aquarius. Although it sports many of the same attributes a conventional rock record would – vocals, guitar, a sense of machismo coupled with a delicate songwriting pedigree – Equinox is an indie rock effort steeped in alternative thought, starting with its juxtaposition of complexity and simplicity. Aquarius means to break all the rules in the name of a more progressive sound, and here, they really win me over as a fan and a critic. 

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/aquarius_band_music/

The strings are absolutely heavier than they need to be in tracks like “God” and the brilliant “Enemies I Called My Brothers,” but this undisputedly makes the lyrics all the more cutting when they’re delivered unto us from beneath a pile of loud, pulverizing fretwork. The piano tends to steal some of the thunder away when harmonies come into focus, but this never discounts the importance of the guitar parts in Equinox; they’re the most consistent star here, sustaining the vocal’s fragility whilst implying constant danger around every turn. 

There’s nothing grand enough to stop the harmonies born of the vocal and the keys in a track like “Coming Home” – to be frank, I think that the textural support they get from the bassline alone is enough to make them the central focus of both this song and, to a lesser extent, “Gone Away.” We get started with evenhanded arrangements in Equinox and only get more experimental as we press on, and by the time we reach the conclusion of this twenty-minute affair, it feels more like we’ve just listened to an epic LP than a cut and dry EP. 

Attention to detail is always a good thing, no matter the genre of music, but it’s an especially fine feature when considering a progressive rock EP. A lot is being uncovered here – themes esoteric and psychological the same – but we’re never faced with complex poeticisms that feel insular on the other side of a guitar part (take “God” for example). By and large, this record is constructed as a full-spectrum discovery piece, and without a lot of intricacies emphasized from behind the mixing board, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy the work at hand for all it’s worth. 

I hadn’t heard of this act before coming across their new EP, but I’m hoping to hear more content along the lines of Equinox in the future. Aquarius have a very interesting take on what progressive rock can sound and look like in 2021, and going off of the technique that they collectively bring to the table in this collection of performances, I would have to say that their route is going to get them to the spotlight a lot sooner than the competition will. This is quality prog-rock and only a teaser of what’s still on the horizon. 

Kim Muncie

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