FLYING COLORS – Flying Colors

FLYING COLORS - Flying Colors
  • 9/10
    FLYING COLORS - Flying Colors - 9/10


Provogue Records
Release date: March 26, 2012

User Review
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Flying Colors is an American Progressive Rock “supergroup” that consists of Mike Portnoy (Adrenaline Mob, Transatlantic, ex-Dream Theater), Dave LaRue (Dixie Dregs, Joe Satriani, John Petrucci), Casey McPherson (Alpha Rev, ex-Endochine), Neal Morse (Transatlantic, solo, ex-Spock’s Beard) and Steve Morse (Deep Purple, Dixie Dregs, solo). There’s been a lot of talk about this band since Portnoy quit Dream Theater in 2010 and finally they’ve released their self-titled debut album.

The music is Progressive Rock, although not all of the songs are as extremely technical and lengthy as you might expect from the genre. The songs lengths span from three to seven minutes, except the album closer, “Infinite Fire,” which clocks in at twelve and is also very technical. The album is very varied … for instance you’ll hear funky slap bass on “Forever In A Daze,” heartfelt lyrical deliveries on “Kayla,” modern Pop/Rock with “The Storm,” and a classic Heavy Rock riff on “Shoulda Coulda Woulda” that would make Jimmy Page proud.

Steve Morse seems the perfect fit for this band and, no matter what style the songs are, his guitar playing is top notch. Morse isn’t a guy who does anything to draw specific attention to himself. His guitar playing is excellent and he doesn’t lack the skills to show off, instead he brings an extra element to the songs and lifts the band as a whole. Those of you who have heard his solo stuff know this man is one of the most versatile guitarists out there; he can play anything and he does just that on this album.

The band states on their Website:  “It started with a simple idea: virtuoso musicians and a pop singer joining to make new-fashioned music the old-fashioned way.” If it’s a new style they want to unleash on the world it could be argued they should let Casey McPherson do all of the lead vocals. Neal Morse’s voice, not that it’s unenjoyable, immediately screams of Spock’s Beard since he has a very signature voice, and Portnoy is hardly a vocalist at all. All his attempts to sing in Dream Theater have been frowned upon by fans and music critics alike. McPherson, however, brings a new dimension to the music with his more Pop-ish vocal style. He has an impressive range and his voice is very universal and fits all the various attempts the band does when delving into different styles. He also delivers the lyrics in a more heartfelt way than both Neal Morse and Portnoy, which really suits the music best.

Progressive Rock fans will be thrilled to hear the album closer “Infinite Fire” — it’s a true work of art. The rest of the songs are very versatile and delivered with such precision and brilliance as you would expect from these superb musicians. Flying Colors isn’t only for fans of Progressive Rock. If you’re a fan of anything these guys have done in the past, or if you’re a fan of Rock music in general, you should give this album a shot!


Casey McPherson – lead vocals, electric guitar, keyboards
Steve Morse – acoustic guitar, electric guitar
Dave LaRue – bass guitar
Neal Morse – keyboards, vocals
Mike Portnoy – drum, percussion, vocals, lead vocals on “Fool In My Heart”


Blue Ocean / Shoulda Coulda Woulda / Kayla / The Storm / Forever In A Daze / Love Is What I’m Waiting For / Everything Changes / Better Than Walking Away / All Falls Down / Fool In My Heart / Infinite Fire


  • Kristian Singh-Nergård

    Kristian is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He is Metal Express Radio's Marketing and Communications Manager, and on occasions also reviewer and photographer. Based out of Oslo, Norway, Kristian is a bass player and owner of the independent record label Pug-Nose Records. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2006.

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