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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Petland

Miss Roboto

Review by Gary Hill

The boundaries of what is and what is not progressive rock are really quite subjective and changeable. With that in mind, I am including this album in the progressive rock section of MSJ. The reasons are for an overall texture that calls to mind a lot of recent progressive rock bands. Indeed, the music here shares a lot with new wave type of sounds, and the music of such artists as David Bowie, but really the particular mix the group have achieved is at least to a good degree progressive rock. In that genre, the arrangements here are quite full and creative and the album is very powerful. Indeed, this is one of the finest albums this reviewer has heard all year. It is not your typical run of the mill progressive rock, but I bet if you give it a chance you will like it.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2001 Year Book Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Human
This cut is based in a great positive sounding slightly poppy guitar oriented progressive rock style. This is a killer track with a great texture.
The One
Far more edgy and punky, the verse here is a great contrast to the previous track. As it progresses a more prog oriented texture takes over on segments, but still the mode is more a punky sort of '80's new wave sound. This one has a wonderful edgy texture.
Ivy
Coming in fast, as it drops to the verse, this cut takes on a great retro sound. The cut makes enough changes to keep the interest of the listener while staying true to itself.
Hive
This one has a little harder edge, but also comes across as related to the spacier part of David Bowie's career. This is another great jam.
Automatic Sheep
Coming in a bit like modern Gary Numan, this cut appropriately feels a bit robotic. It evolves into a harder edged piece that still maintains its earlier elements. In fact, it drops back to its earlier styles later in the number. This one just keeps growing and rebuilding on its various themes. It is a very strong piece.
Chase Scene
Coming straight out of the previous piece, this instrumental has a techno sort of beat. It develops into a thrilling sort of jam that feels just a bit Hawkwind oriented at times. It also touches on sounds as diverse as Nine Inch Nails and Rob Zombie.
Brave New Girl
Coming in lush and pretty, this cut develops in a rather mysterious and slightly spooky manner. It is very dramatic and powerful in its textures. This is another that sometimes calls to mind the music of David Bowie.
Magnetic Feel
This cut starts with a percussive based mixed. Guitar comes in in a great progressive rock sort of style. This is another strong piece on a strong album. The rhythmic textures on this one are particularly strong, as is the overall arrangement.
I Blame It On My Robot
A slower piece, this one is set in a killer retro groove. The arrangement on this one gets quite lush and powerful.
Destruction
This one is hard edged and bouncy. It has a very modern rock texture and is not much in the prog style, but still is quite intriguing. It is very much in the techno sort of vein.
Under My Skin
With lyrics by Cole Porter, this cut is a great retro sort of balladic cut that really works. It makes for a great ending to the album, bringing it down and out quite well. This one gets just a bit Pink Floydish at times. It does get quite powerful at times.
 
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