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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

OnOffOn

Surrender Now

Review by Gary Hill

This debut release from OnOffOn features song writing that covers many musical styles. In fact, if one wanted to pick a shortcoming of the work, it covers too many styles. Many times, it seems as if you are listening to a different band on each song.

OnOffOn, Don Lake, Von Babasin and Dave Goode, are joined on this album by various guest musicians. The CD can be ordered from their website at www.onoffon.com/ .

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
Surrender Now
A `70`s funk induced bass line opens the cut, which builds on that sort of theme. The piece features a very solid harmonica solo. The vocals seem Zappaesque at times, although the lyrics (almost a mantra) do not.
Rock Garden
Guitar oriented prog; this piece shows elements of things as diverse as Hawkwind and jazz. This unusual and entertaining piece has a catchy chorus.
Your Reality
This bluesy hard rocker is quite reminiscent of Robin Trower.
Weekend in Montreal
Weekend in Montreal is a quirky traditional jazz number.
I Don't Give No
This unusual rock tune shows elements of funk, prog and more Zappa leanings.
Inside My Soul
Somewhat progish, this is slow bluesy rocker.
Please Baby Please
This funky jazzy number has a texture similar to Rickie Lee Jones` Chuck E.`s In Love.
The Gift Must Always Move On
Howeish guitar begins this number. Building slowly and dramatically, the piece sounds a bit like Robin Trower, but reflecting the slower more contemplative side of his work. This pretty, progish piece is a strong instrumental.
Letter Received
Including some solid scat singing, this bluesy traditional jazz number is performed quite convincingly.
If A Thief Were I
This extended bluesy mellow rocker begins with some Steve Howe influenced guitar work.
Remember Only
Seeming to run a gamut of musical styles, this instrumental is quite strong. Starting in progish psychedelic modes, ALA Hawkwind, this piece is quite dramatic at times. Other influences to be heard include, The Doors, The Grateful Dead and Yes. The Yes influence shows up mostly as the piece opens into a wonderful prog landscape.
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