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Days Between Stations

Giants

Review by Gary Hill

Days Between Stations doesn't seem capable of producing an album that is anything short of spectacular. If you are looking for new prog that's firmly set in the type of sounds that made up the classic era of progressive rock, you will love this band. There are two core members of the group, Oscar Fuentes-Bills (keyboards) and Sepand Samzadeh (guitars). Billy Sherwood provides bass on the album along with most of the vocals. Durga McBroom is the guest vocalist on one track, while Colin Moulding fills that role on another. This actually might be the best album yet from DBS. Given the competition, that says a lot. It is a contender to make my "best of 2020" list, too.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 5. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2020.

Track by Track Review
Spark
The disc opens with an epic that's nearly 17-minutes long. The cut pounds in with power and works out to a jazzy hard rocking prog jam. It begins evolving as it moves forward. The first vocals that come across are lyric-less and weird. Other vocals join after a while. I like those a lot. Of course, it's Billy Sherwood, and I'm a big fan. The cut drives outward after that vocal segment into a fierce and edgy jam that is incredibly cool. It keeps shifting, changing and evolving. The vocals return for a while, but they keep changing and reinventing the number as they keep going. This is quite an intriguing ride, with all kinds of shifts and changes and differing movements. There is a section later that has a slow grind Pink Floyd-like texture to it. There are some killer guitar fills in later parts, but I have to admit that at times those remind me a bit of David Gilmour's work on the Animals album. This works out from there as it continues to shift and change. It turns decidedly heavy at times, but still quite prog-oriented.
Witness the End of the World (featuring Durga McBroom)
A mellower cut, the vocals on this are provided by Durga McBroom. Piano is a big part of the arrangement to this number. At just about four-minutes long, it's considerably shorter than the opener. It works out to some spaceyness as it continues.
Another Day
As this piece opens, it somehow makes me think of what you might get if you merged Yes with the heavier side of Pink Floyd. I like the vocals on this a lot, too. It is Sherwood again, as he provides the lead vocals on most of the album. The tune works through some cool shifts and changes as it grows outward. This has some seriously powerful jamming and moments. It's another of rather epic proportions, but at just over nine-and-a-half minutes, it's much shorter than the opener.
Goes by Gravity (featuring Colin Moulding)
With vocals by Colin Moulding, there is a bit lighter weight, almost poppy approach to this number. It's another classy cut, but not one of my favorites here. I dig some of the alternating parts to it.
Giants
The title track is another epic at almost 13-minutes long. It's a powerhouse cut that jumps right into it. I love the killer movement later that features keyboards over bass. It's just so classy, but the whole number is a real winner. This is actually one of the most dynamic cuts here. Sherwood's bass shines on this one more than it does on a lot of the rest of the album, too. That's a selling point for me. The whole tune has some smoking hot movements and instrumental work. I think it's wise that this was made the title track because it might be the best song of the CD.
The Gathering
I love the blend of classical and jazz music on the piano playing here. That piano holds the piece for a little over the first minute. Then we get some acoustic guitar with a Spanish flair added to the mix. Some weird sounds that seem like synthesized whistling, lend an almost ominous spacey flair to the piece. After a while that's replaced with more traditional synthesizer textures. This instrumental is all class.
The Common Thread
Powering in with more rocking prog sounds, this has a lot of connections to the kind of music we expect to hear from Sherwood. I dig the guitar fills on this piece a lot. The track is packed full of killer shifts and changes. The number is dynamic, epic in scope and a real powerhouse. It's a great way to end things in style.
 
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