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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Spaced Out

Eponymous II

Review by Gary Hill

With this being Spaced Out's sophomore release, the group seems to have done pretty well against the dreaded "sophomore jinx". In fact, this one feels as if it carries on the styles begun by their 2000 release (simply called "Spaced Out") while making progress towards expanding that sound. Where that one was pretty closely rooted in a fusion style, this one, while still showcasing that element, wanders further into the musical landscape called traditional progressive rock. Some of the disc feels a bit Crimsonish, in fact. Although, those who prefer their prog more melodic might snub their noses, the fans who enjoy fusion oriented instrumental progressive rock will probably like this a lot.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2002 Year Book Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Sever The Seven
A flourish of chaotic building starts this one off, then it quickly changes gear to a fusion jam. Bass takes the piece for a time, and the cut continues with a style that combines jazz and rock. Some spoken vocals followed by a shouted, "Stop talking!" occurs. Then it's back to the hard-edged fusion before piano takes the composition and a new mode begins building up. Then it goes back into the frantic jamming. This gets a bit Dimeolaish at time. It also gets pretty hard edged at times. At other points sounds reminiscent of Red era King Crimson show up. This is a great jam that makes a wonderful beginning to the disc.
The Lost Train
 Beginning, appropriately, with the sounds of a train, percussion starts to take the piece from there, then the bass joins. Soon the rest of the group have made their presence known, and this becomes a mid-tempoed fusion jam that gets a bit metallic at times. Picture Dream Theater meets Al Dimeola. It also gets quite frantic at points, and even dissolves into chaos from time to time.
Infinite Ammo
Hard-edged percussive textures begin this one, and the cut is composed of more frantic jamming. It has some pretty cool moments.
For The Trees Too
This one, another frantic fusion jam, gets a bit Rushish in the bass work occasionally. It drops to a more melodic segment that comes as welcome relief from the surrounding fury. The track also finds the opportunity to jump into a Zappaesque segment. This one wanders quite a bit.
Trophallaxie
Sedate and melodic modes begin this cut. It starts an extremely gradual building process. Then a very cool bass line takes the piece. This becomes an intricate and potent jam. After a time it dissolves to chaos for a short period. Then the composition begins to resemble the soundtrack for a horror film. It also has a tendency to keep stopping and restarting.
Sever The Seven (Revisited)

Frantic off-kilter fusion, as the title suggests, this one shares a general melody line with the first track of the CD.

The Alarm
"The Alarm" has a very cool percussive texture to it. In fact, it is almost a drum solo, with just sound effects (appropriately of alarms and sirens) and atmospheric tones for melody throughout the majority of the piece. Some instrumental work appears late, but almost as noise.
Glassosphere - Part II
Cool dramatic keyboard tones begin this one, and the cut takes on a neo-classical movie soundtrack texture for a time. It shifts to an intricate and pretty melody. This one is definitely atmospheric and features an intriguing arrangement. It is one of the best pieces on the CD and has both a great texture and some killer bass work.
Jamosphere

Percussion starts this one, then noisy jamming ensues until the music seems to get a bit more coherent. It is well named, as it is essentially just a frantic jam. It appropriately gets a bit "spaced out" at times.

 
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