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MesaVerde (Norway) – Eyes (track from MesaVerde ‘Live EP’)

There’s no rest for the wicked. We’re back after a short break for something called Christmas, with not a great deal happening musically but a battalion of new releases coming in early January, so we’ll ease our way back in.

For now here is a song from an EP release I had overlooked in mid-December. MesaVerde has turned up here twice already this year with singles and now they have released a Live EP with both of those tracks on it, also another single, ‘Moments’, included therein,  and this one, ‘Eyes.’

What attracted me particularly to ‘Eyes’ is that it was recorded “live in the forest of Maridalen” rather than at the MesaVerde studio. I don’t know exactly what that means, it doesn’t sound like an outdoor recording but hey, who knows?

I do know of Maridalen; it’s a big valley with forests and lakes to the north of Oslo, just above the sedate, refined Kjelsås suburb if you are familiar with Oslo and the biggest lake there supplies most of the city’s drinking water. A miniature English Lake District I suppose.

It is the sort of location that a British high class prog band from the 1970s might have chosen to make and record music, and I’ve remarked previously that MesaVerde come as close to that sort of band as any other I can think of in the Nordic countries, with the caveat that what they write is often danceable as well, which is unusual.

This song is heaving with references to that era. It won’t take you long to spot instrumental and vocal arrangements by and lyrical influences of Jethro Tull, Genesis and especially Yes, whether they were intended or not.

And the lyrics are full of prog gems: “The past is present in reminiscence” is the pick of the bunch.

Don’t get swayed into thinking derivatively though. They are very much their own band as emphasised by an uncommon and powerful acoustic guitar outro that is in the Thunderclap Newman and Steve Harley league.

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