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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Wappa Gappa

A Myth

Review by Gary Hill

In much the same vein as their first album, this disc is solid prog. The Japanese lyrics leave a bit to be desired by Western standards, but the music certainly makes up for this. Besides, the translations are in the booklet that accompanies the CD.

Wappa Gappa is Keizo Endo, Yasuhiro Tachibana, Hideaki Nagaike, Hiroshi Mineo, and Tamami Yamomoto. This disc should be able to be ordered through the Musea website at http://www.musearecords.com, but it is not the easiest site to navigate through.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: The Early Years Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
The Lion Hearted King (Shishi-Oh)
Electronic "wahing" keys begin this one. The song explodes into a Yesish prog mode, running a fairly straight musical line for quite some time. It eventually changes gears dramatically into a strongly progish instrumental break. This break in turn gives way to a more balladic segment. Then a potent guitar solo emerges. This high-energy movement leads to a pretty and regal sounding portion of the piece. Organically, another harder rocking prog section comes out of that one, and the composition becomes rather Yesish again. That mode ends the track.
No Mercy (Mujou)
Prog metal sorts of textures begin this track, and as the percussion enters, more jazzy elements emerge. Once the guitar joins in, these tendencies really begin to dominate. This is a nicely progish ballad.
The Underground (Chiketsu)
With a Zeppelinish intro, this one is a strong rock based cut with prog leanings and `60`s Secret Agent themes. Later segments take on Renaissanceish leanings. There are also ELPish moments and Yesish ones. This is a very potent prog rocker with lots of interesting textures.
A Myth (Shinwa)
Mellow, spacey strains start this cut and gradually begin to build. This is a dramatic and emotional prog ballad. Fusionish tones take over for a time, and it features a dramatic English language spoken word segment.
Pilgrimage of Water (Mizu No Junrei)
Starting in a rather modern jazz mode, that sort of description really fits the whole piece. It does have almost an Adult Contemporary texture at times, though. The guitar solo section is a bit more crunchy, but still very jazzy.
The One And Only (Yui Itsu)
Hard-edged prog, based solidly on a crunchy guitar segment, this one features a nice modern jazz tinged instrumental break.
Floating Ice (Ryuhyo)
Starting very quietly, keyboards begin this track. The sound builds gradually in very dramatic styles. After a time, evocative guitar joins the keys to round out the sound a bit more, and move the piece forward. This segment actually sounds like the early movements of Yes` recent That That Is. After this intro, the composition becomes more chord driven prog for a time. Then it moves into an almost UKish mode for a few moments. The main verses of the piece are very quirkily textured, but still accessible, and the chorus is dramatic prog. The number has a very entertaining instrumental break, and is quite a striking piece overall, that features many fascinating changes.
 
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