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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Liquid Scarlet

Liquid Scarlet

Review by Josh Turner

The debut of Liquid Scarlet should appeal to friends and relatives of the Parmenter family. Discipline's Matthew Parmenter and Eyestrings' Ryan Parmenter would certainly feel welcome within the confines of this release. The material also passes through the orbit of Satellite's A Street Between Sunrise and Sunset. The music is thoughtful and intricate, but not too busy in any sense. There is a lot to be read between the lines. The subtle and reserved nature of the music speaks many words.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2004 Year Book Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Grey Room
The singer sounds like Peter Gabriel in the early days of Genesis. The instrumentations, however, are more like Marillion. The structure of this song is interesting as it vacillates between a subdued verse, a passage that is both aggressive and insane, and a bridge that wanders wistfully.
Hesitating in the Foyer
The Doors are bottled into a progressive prescription. Even though Ray Manzarek is not playing the keyboards, and Jim Morrison is not doing the singing, it certainly sounds that way. There are even compounds in the ingredients that remind me of Violent Femmes and The Ramones. This song has an unusually catchy beat and it's one of my favorites on the album.
Cittá Nuova
While this number has some normal parts, it is canvassed by many weird segments. The mood goes from a bizarre carnival funhouse to a Tim Burton soundtrack to a Muppet song to the Spyhunter theme. As it progresses, the normal and wacky parts become increasingly interwoven. These juvenile antics are completely harmless, but the result is much more diverse than the earlier pieces. I found this one to be incredibly entertaining. Depending on one's taste, this will either be the most beloved or the most disliked track on the album.
Molok
If you forced a strong cup of coffee down its gullet, this would be the instrumental opening to The Flower Kings' "Rumble Fish Twist". It's clear-cut craziness without speaking a single word.
Talking In Ashes
This ballad captures The Carpenters' chi. It's like taking a serene and peaceful ride down a lazy river. There is a brief section in the middle that encounters rough waters, but the ride is gentle the rest of the way. The chorus is sung mostly in a monotone manner. While Olov Andersson plays a dreamy clarinet, Johan Lundstrom's acoustic guitar and tin whistle are quite hypnotic.
Comes Near, Lingers Far
After the elephants, horses, and clowns trollop around a three-ring circus, the lights dim for a magician act. The Doors' "People are Strange", Steve Miller Band's "Fly Like An Eagle", and early Genesis bring their performance to the center circle.
The Red Stairs
Liquid Scarlet continues to mix softer shades with darker hues. This is the kind of provision one would find featured on Matthew Parmenter's Astray.
One Last Masquerade
The last piece is a lounge act set to end the affair. It ruminates around the room as those still seated are coaxed to the doors. Liquid Scarlet has put on a good show and the finale is no exception. This track is classical progressive rock set to a classy poetic verse. It actually bears some relation to Echolyn's "Mei". While this song might be the finest vintage of them all, the entire album consists of a collection of patiently-aged spirits. Liquid Scarlet is comprised of many old elements that have worked wonders in the past. There is no reason to think these herbal supplements have lost their potency. The new formula is made using a modern production process and comes packaged in a contemporary container. Liquid Scarlet won't solve all your ailments, but it will certainly soothe the ear and ease the mind.
 
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