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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Fuzz Beloved

Fuzz Beloved

Review by Gary Hill

Fuzz Beloved is a close relative to both Imogene and Ludivine. It is vaguely prog rock, but also encompasses the sounds of psychedelia. You can look at this in sort of a similar vein to early Pink Floyd, but it also turns more groove oriented a lot of the time. It’s quite a cool disc, but not without a little bit of sameness at points.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2007 Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Intro
This rises up gradually, but never rises (musically) above ambience. A spoken voice works to hypnotize you. This leads straight into the next cut.
Happy Communing
A track that would show up on the Imogene CD, this has a great groove and a killer bluesy, funky texture. This is one of my favorite tracks and just inspires you to kick back and relax and enjoy. Of course, the title comes from an episode of Star Trek, and Trekkie that I am that is a big plus in my book. This has some definite jazz like elements on the mix. It tends to forego some of the harder rock textures that would later grace it in the Imogene treatment.
Xenia
This cut feels almost like part two of the one that preceded it. The mellow, jazzy groove calls to mind early (Piper At the Gates of Dawn) era Pink Floyd quite a bit. We get some intriguing guitar soloing on this and just a killer overall texture. This ends with a short piece of ambience and a spoken voice saying, “You will show me how you’ve come to be here.”
Sweet Devil Child
While the overall texture of this cut isn’t that different from the other items that have preceded it, we get a new take on the basic musical textures, giving this one its own identity. It’s a good track, and still does well, although by this point the musical theme is on the verge of being overdone. Another soundbite ends this one.
Solipsism
The groove that leads this off has a bit more of an edge, lending a new texture when we are in dire need of one. This cut has a great wahing sort of element that lends a jam band meets Pink Floyd sort of sound. It’s one of my favorites on the CD. It moves off into a kill jazz-like jam later. Some Eastern tones show up at points on this number, too. A female spoken voice comes over further down the road. While some might argue that this drags on too far, I find that the repeated iterations of musical themes lend a great, nearly hypnotic element to this. Another snippet of dialogue closes this off.
Dead Balloons
Bass and drums serve to start this and carry it for a while in funky fashion. After carrying on for a while in a manner that’s in keeping with both the intro and the rest of the disc, they pound out in a noisy, metallic garage band fury that’s quite cool. They drop it back for a return to the song proper, but the burst of power was a great change. This hard edged section does continue later, too. Once more they end things with a soundbite.
Fleeting Planet Earth
This one comes in much like the rest of the music here. It shifts out into a weird spacey jam later, though. That serves as a nice touch and change up. We also get a cool, psychedelic, sitar-like section further into the piece. This turns into another repetitive, but extremely cool, groove. This turns rather psychotic and dissonant later, eventually falling apart to just guitar – reminding me a bit of the scene in the back to the future movie where Marty McFly is playing guitar and starts to fall to pieces and the sounds get all messed up.
Of Eden
This one comes in with more energy and power than some of the rest of the songs here. It’s another killer groove, but has some definite alterations to keep it from being too much like the rest of the music on the CD.
Upside Down Smile
Synth sounds that remind me a bit of Hawkwind or even Space Oddity era Bowie lead off here. The bass comes in to drive this into a fast paced, exceptionally cool jam. This one gets augmented later by more of those cool keyboard elements. This is one of my favorites on the disc.
Wanderer X
A droning keyboard sound starts things here, but is joined shortly by an acoustic guitar ballad approach. This brings a great new texture to the disc, building in fine fashion. It feels a bit like some of the more balladic early Hawkwind, but also reminds me of other progressive rock – perhaps even Genesis a bit. This instrumental is pretty, intricate and a great piece of variety. The same droning keyboard sound that began it segues it into the next number.
Sun Charade
Continuing on from the previous number the music pounds in from the keyboard droning in a psychedelic, hard edged jam that’s one part garage band, one part early Pink Floyd and one part pure psychedelia. We get a cool wah guitar solo on this, too. This really does share a lot of musical ground with the Syd Barrett incarnation of Pink Floyd. It’s also another that adds some variety to the disc. It drops down to space and a frightened voice over to end.
As It Were
This continues in the rather garage band sort of sound, but with more energy and power. This is bouncy and fun with a touch of old jazz leanings merging with Pink Floyd and other textures. This one is extremely cool. They move it out into a more funky sort of jam for a time before shifting into an instrumental groove based on the original musical themes. This section transitions ever so slowly with instruments working around the general arrangement of their own volition. It moves out into total space with a spoken recitation running over the top after a while. This then moves further and further into random space. Eventually it seems to be moving back towards more musical elements as odd sounds still flirt with rampant percussion. Rather than ever lift back up, though, these seemingly disjointed sounds eventually take the track out at past the ten-minute mark.
Kiss My Brainchild
Coming in like early Pink Floyd, this winds up being based around an acoustic guitar pattern in a shifting, pretty and understated balladic fashion. This doesn’t wander far, but then again, it’s only about three and a half minutes long.
 
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