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Aisles

In Sudden Walks

Review by Gary Hill

This is a cool disc. It’s very much a modern prog album, but there are a lot of references to classic progressive rock, too. The music works through mostly extended arrangements and is often times soaring. The sounds are changed up frequently, often in the same song, keeping it interesting throughout.

 

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Mariachi

This comes in feeling a little like spacey Hawkwind type music. It works out from there into some more classic hard-edged prog. It drops way down and there is a spoken section with ambient textures underneath. It seems about to explode out, but instead we get a give and take spoken dialog (male and female) with the music becoming sort of accents to the lines. It fires out into some rocking territory, but keeps dropping back to the sedate for more spoken vocals. It works through some more melodic progressive rock music later. Around the six and a half minute mark, they move out to a rather Floydian styled sort of crunchy sound. Then it drops back again for more spoken stuff, with some varying musical arrangements working through. It powers out from there to a triumphant sounding hard edged prog movement. They work through a number of changes and alterations as they continue. It peaks, then drops back for a short bit to end.

Revolution of Light
This kind of reminds me a bit of Starcastle, but the vocals are more mainstream rock. There is a bit of a modern alternative rock texture here. It’s a cool tune, however you slice it. At times it makes me think of Toto. It becomes a little more Yes-like as it continues. There is a soaring section later that makes me think of Marillion or Genesis a bit.
Summer Fall
They bring this one in powerfully, but it drops back to a mellow, acoustic based movement that’s pretty and rather Steve Howe-like. They take it to some seriously mellow music from there that at times makes me think of Pink Floyd and, at others, like Marillion. They take us through a number of different sounds and movements. It’s a cool track that really does move along in interesting ways. It powers up later into a harder rocking and more energized jam. It drops back to Genesis, like mellow music after a while.
The Maiden
This piece focuses mostly on pretty and intricate music that runs towards the mellow end of things. It gets more rocking as it continues, but it maintains the feeling of a powered up melodic balladic type cut. There is a fast paced jam later that changes that paradigm to a good degree.
Smile of Tears
This is a keyboard dominated number that is fully balladic and quite pretty. There are symphonic elements in the undertones and overlayers here. It gets powerful, but stays in the melodic, balladic zone.
Hawaii
At almost fifteen minutes in length, this is the longest track on show here, and an epic piece. It starts with an extended instrumental introduction that makes me think of Marillion or Genesis. From there they drop way down to something like Queen used to do, the little old time music sort of arrangement. They continue by reinventing that and taking it a little more towards rock. Then a new melody emerges, rising up gradually and feeling a bit like Genesis as it does. This works through and then drops away and we’re left with more sedate music. They keep it mellow by working through a few variants on that section. Then it powers back up for a while. It works back down gradually and they take us out that way.
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