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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Bliss

Chasing the Mad Rabbit

Review by Gary Hill

F eaturing some of the best song writing I have heard in a long time, this is a very strong and entertaining release. There was a solid temptation to include this album in the progressive rock section because many of the cuts have very strong prog leanings, but the influences here are so varied, non-prog seems to fit better. Bliss is Michael Trapp and Matt Wells. The album can be ordered directly from the label by going to their website at www.J-Birdrecords.com.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: The Early Years Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Karmic Wheel
A strong rocking number this one combines elements of alternative and techno styles into a very catchy tune. The vocal arrangements on the chorus calls to mind Head East, while the music of that same section has some strong prog leanings.
Wrecked
Neo-classical elements start off this song in a very progish fashion. Once the intro dies out, the piece takes on the mode of a very satisfying hard rocker with unusual vocals. A very progish instrumental break shows more of those neo-classical elements reemerging. This is one of the pieces that really makes one think about including this band in the progressive rock category.
Sick
A textural and sedate intro makes a nicely sedate contrast to the previous cut. This piece almost has a Genesisish feel to it`s verses. The chorus, however, is far more rooted in Nine Inch Nails. The contrast of these styles is quite effective, making this a very quirky and energetic number.
Once Upon A Time
This pretty balladic piece is firmly rooted in classic rock traditions. The piece eventually takes on harder tones, but still in that balladic classic rock mode.
Too Shy
Metallic moments begin this cut, before dropping it into a more alternative rock format. The instrumental break shows strong neo-classical leanings, while other sections of the composition are almost driving metal.
Nevermind
This percussive alternative rock number shows definite progressive elements, and is quite strong.
Hope
Hope is a pretty rock ballad.
Little Bitches
Featuring a strong metallic intro, this is a quirky metal cut that even shows elements of classic Black Sabbath and modern Alice Cooper.
Colorblind
A strong poppish rock cut, this one is not a stand out, but quite competent, nonetheless.
Darkest Hour
Darkest Hour is a very dark and dramatic cut that is somewhat progish. This one is quite powerful and features a metallic chorus.
Something Broken
This one is a pop track in the classic mode of bands like Journey, but takes those styles to a very high level. The cut features quite progish moments.
Busted
A strong rocker in an alternative mode, the instrumental break shows strong prog leanings.
Silent Scream
A fast paced rocker, this one is very competent, but not exceptionally strong.
Insides Out
This is a strong ballad with `80`s techno textures and a vocal line calling to mind Journey and others of their ilk.
Blissed Out
An instrumental, this one features Queenish neo-classical leanings.
Rejoice
Showing tendencies of a kinder, gentler Nine Inch Nails, this is a strong rocker that features a quirky prog instrumental break.
 
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