I first became familiar with the Lithuanian progressive rock band The Skys and their 2011 release titled Colours of the Desert, reviewed on his site. Unfortunately that was the last I heard of the band so I have some catching up to do. Anyways, I quite enjoyed that album although it has been a long time but to my welcomed surprise their latest effort arrived for review titled Automatic Minds. I’ll say this right from the start, this is a superbly crafted melodic progressive rock album and the more I listen, the more I dig it. In the band are Jonas Ciurlioniis (guitar and vocals), Bozena Buinicka (keyboards and vocals), Justinas Tamasevicius (bass) and Ilja Molodcov (drums and percussion). Notable guests include Snowy White, Rob Townsend, Durga McBroom and many others.
The disc is off to a great start with the album opening “Get Rid Of This” where syncopated rhythms and a chorus that really starts to build its earworm. The female vocals took a while to click with me and now I can’t get enough. Gentle guitar begins the title track before an awesome saxophone solo erupts followed by a just as awesome keyboard solo. Flamenco acoustic guitar and razor sharp electric guitar round out the package. Pink Floyd comes to mind on “Singing Tree” and “Love Of Life” where the tremendous sax work of Justin Klunk and Rob Townsend is absolutely delightful. The disc ends with the catchy “Communication” featuring excellent guitar work.
After listening to Automatic Minds a few times it has become clear why it found its way into my 2019 best of list. Fans of melodic progressive rock will want to check this one out.