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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Coyote Poets of the Universe

Callin' You Home

Review by Gary Hill

This is certainly not progressive rock in the traditional sense. That said, I’d consider it to be in a literal sense and without question in terms of the merging of seemingly disparate musical styles with no real concern for any kind of musical rules – only art. This combines poetry with old school jazz, surf, rockabilly and just about anything else you can imagine into a musical montage that’s entertaining. It might not be your first choice for progressive rock, but it’s definitely progressive in its scope and vision.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Irrational Anthem
This is a poetry reading that addresses the musical mergings that create the sounds of this group. They don’t add any music to this spoken piece.
Criminal
A fast paced, “the things I’m thinking can put me in prison” are repeated over and over as some frantic and psychotic mantra. They take this out into a jazzy little jam that’s quite an intriguing piece of music. Mid track they take us out into a great jazz foray.  After more vocals they give us another jam that is at first jazz and then turns to rockabilly. The opening mantra returns, but this time it’s accompanied by music. This short reprise ends the song.
Tender
Mellow balladic elements make up this track. It’s part old world music, part classical and part jazz. It’s all cool.
Surfin@stonehenge
Celtic elements start this off. As you might guess from the title these are blended with surf music in an unusual and unique montage of sounds. As odd as this mix might sound it works. It’s a fairly short instrumental. 
Yes or No
This rather countrified piece feels like it could have come out of the early 1960’s. We get a fairly traditional jazz movement in the middle of this one. 
Callin' You Home
They start things with more of the surf type sounds, but then other elements emerge and parts of this remind me of Camper Van Beethoven. There are all kinds of odd puzzle pieces in the musical motif that makes this up. It’s a unique sound collage and a killer tune. It’s one of my favorites on show here. 
Russian Percussion
Now this is really unusual. Russian author and composer names are woven in an acapella recitation that is oddly percussive. Really doesn’t the title convey that quite well? It’s a cool track. 
Disturbance
Here’s an odd little ditty with old world music serving as the background for a spoken word recitation that is at times hip hop in nature. The lyrics here get a “parental advisory warning.”  They continue changing the modes here, but poetry is really the rule of the day. I love the line “the climate is haiku.” 
I Don't Know Birds
This is kind of an old pop song – and I mean really old. It’s not really a highlight of the disc, but it’s probably the most accessible piece on show. 
Canonization
There’s a real bluesy element to this one. It’s got some hip-hop to it, too. This is really one of the catchier cuts here, but it’s still got some odd edges. It’s also dramatic and rather powerful, musically and lyrically. 
Jesus Debbie (Shut the F*** Up)
In case you can’t tell from the title (those “*’s” were added in for something, you know), this cut gets some serious parental warnings. It’s a bouncy little rockabilly jam through much of its course. And yet, they throw in some odd psychedelia meets jazz jamming.
Burnt Down
This is a bluesy, gospel tinged jazzy torch song. It wanders out into some noisy RIO styled weirdness to end.
 
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