Things Amazing's "Amazing Things" Lives Up To Its Name
There are some progressive bands who fall into the age-old trap of emphasizing complexity at the expense of all else. Things Amazing, however, is not one of those bands.
The outstanding Atlanta-based math rock quartet - made up of Yasin Knapp (guitar), Stephen DeFoor (guitar), Avery Payne (bass), and Brody Smith (drums, also of Satyr, Extrovert, and Proliferation) - manages to effortlessly balance complexity and accessibility on their new EP, aptly (and somewhat humorously) titled Amazing Things. The stellar five-track effort radiates a disarming warmth and playfulness, and there's something unmistakably genuine about the record that makes it a pure joy to listen to. Repeatedly. Perhaps even four or five times through in a single day.
Like any good act on the more modern, "in-your-face" side of the prog spectrum, Things Amazing wastes no time in dazzling listeners with mind-bending changes of time signature and awe-inspiring technical flourishes (the latter being employed to particularly good effect on “A Man, A Lighthouse”), but there's more to the EP – and to Things Amazing – than chops. Amazing Things also boasts a considerable surplus of exuberant, heartfelt melodies and laid back, groove-oriented passages which make it incredibly easy to connect with each composition.
Clocking in at just under fourteen minutes, total, Amazing Things comes and goes rather quickly, and leaves one eager for more. No song overstays its welcome or feels the least bit dispensable, and the whole EP flows together smoothly. Like a visit from a dear friend that reaches its conclusion seemingly in the blink of an eye, one is likely to conclude that the record's only flaw is that it ever comes to an end.
Artwork credit: Taylor Adams