Explorers of distant prog rock galaxies, pay attention, this one is for you! Corsair from Charlottesville, Virginia are a bunch of seasoned musicians who first found together through their love of great music, having played together not only in Mass Sabbath (guess what they might have been covering…) but also in Mockstarballs, a band paying tribute to no-one less than the legendary Spinal Tap (!). Don’t get me wrong here, the guys and gals of Corsair are far more than that: Each of them is or was an active member in several bands, those ranging from metal to indie pop.
Current members in Corsair are Marie Landragin (guitars), Paul Sebring (guitars), Jordan Brunk (bass), and Aaron Lipscombe (drums). Vocal duties are shared between Paul, Marie and Jordan. Once the four had decided to form an original band, Corsair constantly worked on developing their very unique sound, infusing it with a great deal of Thin Lizzy-adoration and Iron Maiden-worshipping. Wait, weren’t we talking about prog? So where are the prog bits? Don’t worry. There are few bands comparable to Corsair when it comes to being “prog“: In their way of playing with expectations conditioned by pop or blues progressions, they think totally out of the box. Or to say it in bassist Jordan’s words: „The further a song reaches from the norm, the more progressive it becomes. The trick is to find the balance between the familiar and unfamiliar in a way that is memorable.“ Now if you’re still in need of names, think of Baroness, Mastodon and Blackholicus, and you get the idea! What about the four themselves, do they all like to be in such company? More than that: “We’re honoured! I think these bands are pushing the metal genre forward and challenging their fans to grow with them. I am less familiar with Blackholicus, but love what I heard online. I can only hope to share the stage with any one of them in the future.”
“Ghosts of Proxima Centauri” from 2011 is the outfit’s second EP after its precursor “Alpha Centauri” from 2010, and after having been self-released in the first place, it is now made available through High Roller Records. Being the second release in the band’s history, it of course documents some changes and developments both in attitude and execution: “’Ghosts of Proxima Centauri’ saw us grab hold of the reigns and become more involved in engineering and mixing the album. The songwriting is ambitious and, at times, the most progressive of our catalogue. We recorded much of the overdubs in the comfort of our own home and had more time to get the right take. I think the musical ideas of the band are expanding on this record, but I think the production quality reflects an early attempt to shape sounds and put them together.”
Corsair sent all of their self-released records out to be reviewed, and the judgements they reaped where most positive: leading reviewers and heavy/psychedelic/prog prophets already agreed on foretelling a bright future for the young outfit.
What we have on “Ghosts of Proxima Centauri” is a maturing band that shows itself from its most progressive side – and Corsair’s journey through space and time has only just begun!