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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Latent Anxiety

Reaction

Review by Gary Hill

It’s a foregone conclusion that many will think I’m nuts for putting this in the progressive rock category. I do it more for the experimental nature of this music – and isn’t that really one of the first definitions of prog rock? That’s not to say that there aren’t any traditional progressive rock elements here. There certainly are. It’s just to say that the music here is probably more akin to techno and dance music, but there’s a lot more going on here, too. I like this one a lot. It’s quirky as hell, but also very cool. It’s a double disc set, but really you get the same CD twice – once in a standard enhanced format and again in a 5.1 digital surround format. I don’t have anything to properly play the DTS format, so I’m just reviewing the standard one. Of course, since the tracks are essentially the same there would be only one track by track review anyway.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2008  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Dance Pulsation
Keyboards bring this up and as one might guess from the title the group move into a club/dance sort of texture. As this continues, the vocals and other elements merge to create a very definite Kraftwerk type texture.
Dirty Baby
This one still has a bit of that techno sort of texture, but it’s also got a hard rocking sound. It’s a sleazy romp in terms of the lyrics. This is a lot more energized than the track that opened things.
If You Love Me So
Here is the first piece that I’m confident to call progressive rock. Mind you, it’s still got a lot of the elements from the openers, but it presents itself in a keyboard oriented prog ballad motif.
Latent Anxiety
This one has a Rammstein meets hard edged techno. It’s a unique combination of sounds and includes some neo-prog in the midst of the cut’s musical elements.
Love Delirium
We get the most proggy material of all on this one. It has a catchy riff driven approach and feels a bit like modern neo-prog meets Kraftwerk. This is a cool tune.
In the World
The opening here feels like Hawkwind. As the pounding main song enters it’s like a metallic space rock in texture. I hear a little Spinal Tap in this song – and really that group (despite the humor) made some good music, so that’s a compliment.

Dating A Someone
Still with a bit of that Tap sound this cut also has some of the most pure prog – albeit weird prog – sounds of the album. This is hard edged and quirky as hell. The fast paced burst is pure progressive rock.
Just In Time
This hard edged tune is quirky as hell. It’s also very catchy.

Life in LA
Percussion leads this one off. A cool hard rock riff takes it from there and the group launch into this new musical journey. This one is pretty catchy and one of my favorite cuts here, although it might not be the most proggy thing to be heard here.

Monsters
Keyboards start off and a voice over from a monster movie is heard. This has that Kraftwerk meets Rammstein approach. It drops back to some different keys and another monster movie sound bite is heard. The cut works through with this new musical motif. Then it moves back into a different drop back. We hear more monster movie stuff and they build it from there. This might not be your father’s progressive rock and it’s got a lot of techno in the midst, but I’d call it “progressive rock” – in the broadest sense. I’d also call it “cool.” They work through several variations and reincarnations, all kicked off with another horror movie snippet – but these are all old school.
Epitaph
Another track that starts with percussion, the group climb in with a guitar sound that reminds me of Rush. Then they launch into more technoish sounds. This becomes another that’s a bit Spinal Tapish. It’s got a quirky texture and several unique variations and stop/start sections. This is quite a cool piece. It’s not progressive rock in a traditional sense by any means, but its experimental nature puts it there for me. It’s actually one of my favorites on show here.
 
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