Medical Maps, a band from the Boston area, releases their third album, That Is That, a collection of songs crossing many genres, with elements of prog-rock, indie-pop, post-rock, and folk.

That Is That was recorded at The Bridge Sound and Stage by Alex Allinson and features the talents of Afshin Beheshti (guitar, baritone guitar, Rhodes, mandolin, alto saxophone, banjo, piano, strings, additional keys, vocals), Phil Mahoney (bass), Ethan Herschman (drums), and Eric Provonsil (guitar, slide guitar, vocals), along with Tess Herschman, Ruth Mahoney, and Honey Mahoney (vocals), Kit Buckley (tenor saxophone), and Scott Getchell (trumpet).

Beheshti and Provonsil began writing songs together in 2012. After several rhythm section changes, the lineup solidified in 2015 with the addition of Greg Mahoney on bass and in 2016 with Ethan Herschman on drums. Phil Mahoney joined the band in 2019 to add additional sounds on the guitar. The group put out its debut album Soft on Crime in 2017. They released their follow-up album, Be Whelmed, in 2019.

Capacious, the album encompasses 14 tracks, beginning with “Last of the Icons,” which opens on knocking percussion, followed by shimmering guitars reminiscent of Ten Years After. Once the song takes shape, it pushes out a psychedelic wall of sound.

Entry points include “Riptide,” exuding gleaming washes of indie-rock guitars topped by smooth, melodic vocals, especially on the chorus. An angular rhythm gives the tune a delicious, diagonal flow.

“Take time, but our words are not for sale / Make time, to recognize the difference / Take time, but our words are not for sale / Riptide.”

Adrift on layers of shoegaze tinted by jazz-pop savours, “The Dog Door on Mars” sits on the edge of prog-rock, gliding on a saxophone-accented melody. While “Two Minute Man” deserves a listen simply because of its mixture of jazz-rock and surf rock, all capped by a stellar, braying, surging saxophone.

Medical Maps
Medical Maps

“One More Day” takes dream-pop and infuses it with hints of country rock, resulting in a tasty tune akin to Thin Lizzy covering The Bangles.

“As We Quietly Turn into Old Men” conjures up evocations of Pink Floyd because of its coasting prog-rock motion, ebbing and rising on soft, velvety tones highlighted by dreamy vocals.

Full of complex colours and a scrummy variety of sonic styles, That Is That is not only charismatic but also a most decorative album.

That is That Track Listing:

1. Last of the Icons
2. Riptide
3. Modern Magnets and Miracles
4. The Dog Door on Mars
5. Standing Quickly
6. Two Minute Man
7. One More Day
8. Last Manifesto Edgewise
9. Songs About Round Objects
10. Hurts to Shoot Rings
11. Backroads to Japan
12. Every Season
13. As We Quietly Turn into Old Men
14. Our Mate Had a Cat

Run Time: 44:56
Release Date: March 17, 2023
Record Label: Independent