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Bullfrog

Second Wind

Review by Gary Hill

I really dig the blend of classic rock sounds heard on this set. I know I’ve seen these guys set under progressive rock, but I don’t really see that connection. Instead, I’d consider them more hard rock with a little bit of prog in the mix. Whatever you call it, though, it’s quite a strong set.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
G-town Madhouse

This powers out like a metal tune, but shifts out to more straight ahead classic rock. Deep Purple wouldn’t be a bad comparison, but there’s more of a Head East element at play, too. There’s a killer hard rock and roll and jam later in the number, too. There is definitely a lot of classic rock on hand here, and it works out towards prog near the end.

Don't Think of Tomorrow
This isn’t as complex as the previous tune. It’s kind of like a proggier version of Sweet. It’s a good tune and works quite well.
I Don't Care
Here we get a tune that’s got a great retro rock and roll sound to it. There’s nothing Earth shattering here, but this is classy. There’s a section later in the track that turns towards space rock. As it moves out from there we get something closer to a Southern rock meets jam band sound.
Baja "C"
Classic rock is certainly the order of the day in the early section. It has a stripped down arrangement early on in the tune. As it continues later, though, it becomes quite progressive rock like. There are some intriguing shifts and changes, yet the bass line is quite disco-like. Sections later call to mind Nektar, while other points make me think of Klaatu a bit.
Wake Up
The rhythm section opens this and Klaatu is also a valid reference point here. Then again, so is Sweet. The vocal arrangement is classy and the music is quite definitely classic rock. Max Webster might be worth a name check here, too. There’s a killer classic rock based guitar solo section.
Sh** Go****n
The riff that opens this is classic, and nearly metallic. If the fact that I edited the title doesn’t give the fact away, this definitely gets a parental advisory. It has a rather crude rhyme as the chorus that used to get thrown around at rock shows quite a bit. Hint, it ends with “get off you’re a** and jam.” This is rough around the edges hard rock that’s quite classic in nature.
Step on the Gas
Opening with another classic riff, this, at times, calls to mind Trevor Rabin era Yes, but with a more stripped down musical concept. There’s some tasty retro keyboard work and this thing rocks out, yet has plenty of progressive rock built into it, too. It’s one of the more complex and intriguing pieces here, yet doesn’t sacrifice catchiness or accessibility to gain that. It’s one of the highlights of the set.
Dreamer
Mellower and rather spacey, this is still classic rock, but is decidedly progressive rock oriented. It’s not far removed from some of the proto-prog that was coming out in the late 1960s. It has rocking sections built into it and is a killer tune.
All I Know
In some ways there are no huge changes here, but there are some bits of processed vocals that call to mind Frank Zappa. Overall, this is a catchy and fun classic rock tune that does a great job of continuing the musical concepts heard throughout this set.
Teenage Suicide
The first bonus track, there’s a ton of energy here and the guitar really reminds me of Burn era Deep Purple. In fact, if you combine that sound with Sweet, you’ll be pretty close to the sound of this tune.
Little Queenie
It’s hard to imagine a song that has more of a classic sound than this. It’s tough to nail down one particular influence, but this feels like it would have fit well in the 1970s.
Let’s Get Loaded
This isn’t all that special. It’s just a classic rocker that’s plays it by the numbers. That said, the guitar solo is pretty tasty.
It’s Up to You
Dramatic and powerful, there is definitely a 1960s pop rock sound to this, but it really qualifies as progressive rock. It’s a great tune and one of the highlights of the set.
It’s All Over Now
Interestingly enough, the final bonus track, and last track of the set, is arguably the best. It has some great keyboard sounds and a dramatic and powerful arrangement.
 
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