Eddie Brnabic is a Los Angeles based musician who has apparently been around a long time, but this album is my introduction to his work. Eddie plays guitar, keys and percussion, and along with Gregos Majda on bass, Dario Lapoma on keys, and Steven Rubio on drums, they are The Cosmic Fellowship. Subtle Realms consists of 9 instrumental tracks, all in the 3 – 6 minute range.
The album opens with a peacefully New Agey dual flute and running stream piece, before launching into Transcendental Wine, an easy paced showcase for tasty melodic wah and fuzz guitar leads and Rhodes sounding keys. This, and the album as a whole, is unabashedly 70s influenced hard psychedelic rock laced with heavy doses of Funk and Soul. Throne Of Saturn is similar but heavier, trading the Funk for a spaced out stoner vibe, but still focused on creating a catchy melodic flow. Still… Tripping Through Time goes deeper into space, being a soulful slab of bubbling psychedelic, prog inspired, high intensity rock, with killer guitar and churning UFO effects. Pearl is like a psychedelic blend of the Allman Brothers and The Beatles Abbey Road, and includes some mightily explosive moments of hard rocking psychedelic fury. Moongroove consists of chunky funky soulful riff rocking, which goes ape-shit ballistic for the finale. Waves alternates between cool grooving stoned rock and soulful psychedelic drift, and includes a heart-wrenching acid-fuzzed solo, which sounds cool combined with the jazz lounge keys. Riff Mountain has a jazz fusion edge, sounding like a psychedelic take on the Jeff Beck Blow By Blow/Wired sound, though it later blasts off into a heavy riff rocking jam. Death & Resurrection closes the set, and along with Still… Tripping Through Time is the album’s most spaced out psychedelic track, including trippy Eastern vibes and heavier space rocking moments.
In summary, if you spend sleepless nights yearning for the best of 70s psychedelic hard rock, then Eddie Brnabic is for you. The band is tight as a knot, and the music tastefully melodic, even during its most eruptive moments. As an instrumental unit the band is top notch, though it would be interesting to hear them add a singer with potent yet soulful vocals.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz