Artists | Issues | CD Reviews | Interviews | Concert Reviews | DVD/Video Reviews | Book Reviews | Who We Are | Staff | Home
 
Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Star People

...Are Coming

Review by Gary Hill

Star People … are weird … and intriguing and fun. Did I mention weird? This is a very unusual group that merges sci-fi themes with prog in the mode of Hawkwind, Spock's Beard, Frank Zappa and David Bowie and adds in some very freaky textures at times. It is a solid release, quite fun, but certainly not for everyone. If you have a good sense of humor and like music such as Hawkwind and even the B-52's, give these guys a try. The album is a concept album with an interesting idea. The premise is that when our planet started sending out radio and TV waves, they got sucked through a black hole and spread out over all the dimensions - including time. With them spread over time, these signals are omnipresent (existing in the past and the future). So, as soon as any alien society develops a receiver capable of picking them up, they are there. For these societies, these signals take on a mystical significance, since they have been with them forever. They call the people in the signals "the star people" and make it their quest to find us.

The lineup on this disc is Brian Dean, Paul Gifford, Bill Olland, Randy Pratt, Scott Treibitz, Phil Weiss, and Lorenza Ponce. For ordering info, stop by their website at http://www.erandyland.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
Focus Pocus
Hard edged, progish near-psychedelia, this cut is a wonderful weirdness that really sets the tone for the disc. This one features a narration that reminds one of Orson Welles. The last segments feel a bit like early Rush.

Flying
With flying saucer sounds, this cut is an unusual balladic sort of tune that seems to merge the styles of Frank Zappa and Hawkwind with Bowie's "Space Oddity". It features a harder rocking chorus that feels a bit like Deep Purple meets Hawkwind. Than a progish segment, a bit like one of Spock's Beard's balladic moments done by a lounge singer emerges. This gives way to a bouncy prog sort of section. The piece then returns to the Hawkwind/Zappa/Bowie mode, followed by another chorus that ends the track.
My House
Feeling a lot like the bluesy side of Concrete Blonde, this is a very strong and quirky cut that continues the sci-fi themes.
Time
Very melodic and pretty prog in a balladic mode, this one is a great, but far too brief piece.
Dark Blue Eyes
Coming across as a hard-edged progish groove, this is another strong number. The bass line here really carries the cut. It gets quite lush, and honestly it has one of the coolest alternative takes on prog that this reviewer has ever heard.
The Signal
With a great slow groove, this is another that feels like a progish take on "Space Oddity" era Bowie. It is a considerably strong track this is very mysterious sounding. It includes a great prog instrumental break.
The Pan-Dimensional Universal Anthem
This one also seems to feel a bit like Spock's Beard. A brief instrumental, it is fun and bouncy prog.

Star Man Descending
A slow and rather Bowieish number, this one has a nice texture to it. It changes directions, becoming hard edged and featuring more Wellesian narration. Then the cut jumps into a fast paced, hippieish melody with some strange lead vocals over more of that narration.

Long Time
Starting with keys, this cut turns into a very nice groove, somewhat jazzy. A break imparts a space texture, the back to the jazz groove. The number then switches gears to a somewhat dissonant Crimsonian sort of meandering. This extended jam is strong, if weird, prog.

Science and Style
Bluesy, ethnic modes in a bouncy polka sort of style start "Science and Style". It levels out into a bluesy acoustic based rock song with some unique textures. It is a fun and slightly weird number that keeps reinventing itself in new prog directions.

Little Man
Quirky prog with violin is the mode of this piece, a brief intro to "The Way".
The Way
Beginning as a fairly intricate ballad type number, this jumps to harder rocking modes, then begins building in prog ways. The violin really adds a lot to this arrangement. This is another exceptionally strong composition.
Star People
Another brief acoustic based balladic cut, this one is a good hippie prog ballad. It is a bit in the style of Captain Beyond.
Calling Occupants (Of Interstellar Craft)
A band definitely gets points for covering a song by Klaatu (even if the Carpenters did it, too). This is a fairly faithful rendition of the progish ballad from the Canadian band once rumored to be The Beatles. It serves as a nice conclusion to an unusual CD. The band does get a bit adventurous and more prog oriented with this one while still keeping it quite true to the original.

You'll find an audio interview of this artist in the Music Street Journal members area.
 
More CD Reviews
Metal/Prog Metal
Non-Prog
Progressive Rock

Ultimate Indie Bundle Banner
 
Google

   Creative Commons License
   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    © 2019 Music Street Journal                                                                           Site design and programming by Studio Fyra, Inc./Beetcafe.com