In March, it'll be four years since the neo-progressive act Simeon Soul Charger
picked up and moved overseas to devote itself to a life of touring and recording. "It's going really well," says singer-guitarist Aaron Brooks when asked about how the band has adjusted to living out of a 200-year-old farmhouse in the Bavarian countryside. "We added 11 new countries to our touring roster. That’s all we do is tour and record." One of the more intellectually-minded bands to come out of Northeast Ohio, the group looks back with fondness to the proggy days of Jethro Tull, Yes and the Moody Blues. Released in 2012, Harmony Square
is a concept album that the band has said is about “an alien race that descends upon a city ruled by a tyrannical leader.” After an overture, the disc commences with “Babylon Grove,” a waltz-like number that features piano and strings as it offers up obtuse lyrics about the world’s end. The rest of the songs veer between jarring psychedelia (“Spinning Across the Grass”) and jammy rock (“See Sharp”).
While the album works best as a whole, a song such as “All Fair’s in Harmony Square” features a pop hook that makes it stand well on its own. The band is currently at work on a new album that's due out next year. "It’s different from our other records," Brooks says of the new album. "We try to not repeat ourselves. The songs will follow a concept. It’s about an alien race under the guise of a circus and they offer the humans transcendence from there. Really, it’s mostly about the psychology of the individuals." The group toured with psychedelic rock icons the Pretty Things in the spring and has plans to tour again with them again. The band doesn’t often play Northeast Ohio; be sure to check ’em out while they’re here to play the Kent Stage
tomorrow at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 to $15.