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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Wild Turkey

You And Me In the Jungle

Review by Gary Hill

Never heard of Wild Turkey? That’s probably because you aren’t from the right part of the world. Apparently they had quite a following in the 1970’s at least in England. Here in the colonies, though, I never heard of them before. So, what is Wild Turkey like? Well, they aren’t really progressive rock, but since the early days of MSJ I’ve always put items with prog rock alumni under that category, so that’s how these guys wind up there. They actually have several former proggers (Glen Cornick and Clive Bunker – Jethro Tull, John Weathers – Gentle Giant and Gary Pickford-Hopkins – Rick Wakeman’s band). Steve Gurl from Babe Ruth (who some might argue was progressive rock) and Mick Dyche from the Maddy Prior Band round out the killer line up here. What type of music have these guys cooked up on their reunion disc? Well, the sound is a very classic, bluesy rock texture, delivered with style and taste. It treads a lot of the same type of musical territory as the recent Cactus reunion disc. The boys change it up from track to track enough to always keep the disc fresh. Really this one doesn’t have any weak material and will certainly please fans of the genre who are thirsty for some new music with that retro sound. I may have missed Wild Turkey on their first incarnation, but I’m very glad I haven’t missed them this time around.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2006 Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Propaganda
This has a bit of a garage band texture, but in a good way. It also feels rather like Nazareth with perhaps a bit of Tomorrow thrown in for good measure. This old school rocker is a great start to the disc.
Friendly Fire
Starting off with a riff that feels like a cross between Wishbone Ash and Uriah Heep, this drops down to a bluesy sort of rocking texture. This one has a major retro nature to it and has lost a lot of that garage band sound. The guitar solo with its surf textures is a killer. The fast paced opening riff returns later as a break. While the opener was strong, this one is even better.
Split It Down The Middle
This is a down and dirty blues rocker, something like a less metallic AC/DC (the Bon Scott era) groove. It’s a nice surprise and definitely keeps this from getting stale (or even close).
Snakewalk
This is another smoking, bluesy rocker with a killer retro sound. These guys are good at creating enough variation on the central theme to keep it fresh. This again has a bit of that AC/DC feel with some definite Nazareth and even a little Blackfoot thrown into the mix.
Catalan Lullaby
As you might guess from the title this one starts off as a pretty lullaby. As it turns more towards the rocking textures that make up the core of the track I hear a healthy dosage of Thin Lizzy type sounds in the mix. In fact I even get a bit of a “Whiskey in the Jar” vibe off of this one. Once again, they continue to keep it working. This is another that has some exceptionally tasty guitar work.
Faultline
This has an even more bluesy approach, right down to the blues harp. All of the previous sounds of the disc seem to be present here, but with a healthy hard rocking dose of Stevie Ray Vaughn thrown in for good measure. This might be my favorite track on the disc. It’s definitely a screamer. It’s just that everything here is so good that it makes it hard to pick one. The riff on the bridge section (and intro) even reminds me a little of Captain Beyond.
You & Me In The Jungle
This has a bouncing lilt that even feels just a bit like Jimmy Buffett at times. If there’s a weak cut here, this is it. Even so, it’s still pretty darn good. I’d have to say that it’s less in line with my personal musical tastes. I do like the tribal break down and jungle sound effects that make up the break, though. And the guitar soloing that comes out after that elevates this a lot. This section takes on some Allman Brothers like stylings as it carries on. The percussion surely gets a chance to shine on this extended jam. They pull it to ballad like style to take it back up from a false ending, but then it’s back to Margaritaville.
Northern Lights
This has a Celtic texture to it, but still rocks out enough to please those who don’t go in for that type of sound as much. It has a great groove to it and is not only a great changeup, but also one of the strongest cuts on the disc. There are points on this album where the vocals remind me a bit of classic Rod Stewart and this is certainly the most blatant of those. The instrumental break on this one is even more in tune with those Celtic sounds.
Play Another Fast Song
They fulfill the request of the title with this cut, a smoking old school rocker that’s just plain fun.
Soldier Boy
The Allman Brothers are back in the house on this number, another highlight of the disc. The tune has a killer groove and some seriously inspired guitar work.
U Got It
A fast paced riff fest closes out the disc in style.
 
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