Newly unearthed from the historical dustbin of the ’70s, Solaris were a heavy genre-mashing rock trio out of Chicago that never released a thing but were known among those who saw them for an incredible live show. The archival label Numero Group has dug up their long-lost ’73 album, The Waves of the Evernow, and we should be offering our thanks to the rock gods. Waves fills in the gaps between prog, krautrock, classic ’70s hard rock, and more, with an occasional experimental twist. Solaris’s sound probably won’t surprise anyone, but it might surprise you that they’re an actual ’70s band you’ve never heard, not a present-day band that sounds like one.
There’s five tracks on Waves, all longish except for the second one. The instrumental opener, “Solar Winds and the Waves of the Evernow,” kicks things off with repetitive, incantatory guitar riffs before filling things out with a frenetic solo from organist Karellen XOR. The viscerally satisfying third track, “Hour of the Wolf,” is the album’s heaviest and catchiest, and one of only two with vocals.
The fourth and longest track, “Process and Sonic Rebirth,” begins in a slow procession of sinister, evil-sounding organ and guitar before everything gets frazzled at around eight minutes in, when Ed Kramer’s drums put up an impenetrable wall of seemingly endless rolls while Jawxillion Loeb’s guitar and Karellen XOR’s organ come together in a conversation of primal energies.
If you’re interested in ’60s/’70s rock, especially of the more far-out varieties, or if you’re just interested in the evolution of rock music in general and its endless mutation and combination of styles, Waves is a fun and interesting listen. You can listen to the whole thing on SoundCloud, but ordering one of the 500 LPs from Numero’s website also gets you a download of a 1970 live performance by Solaris. Supporting the label also means they can continue to unearth never-before-heard gems from the past.