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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

The Living

Bedd Tracks

Review by Gary Hill

According to the notes at their CD Baby site, “One of the group's primary objectives is to embrace some aspect of most existing genres of music in order to blend and fuse a diverse array of styles, creating a concoction of something decidedly unique, yet with an air of familiarity.” Honestly, listening to this disc, it is obvious they have succeeded in that objective. And it’s also pretty obvious that that type of exploration makes this progressive rock – at least in the true, progressing forward, sense of the word. The music here is incredibly dynamic and it’s amazing how many changes they put into these tracks – and yet keep it cohesive. Nothing here is over four minutes and sixteen seconds in length, but when you listen to these tracks you’ll find that hard to believe because there is so much in each piece. This is an EP and as such is short. It’s also killer.


This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Eye of the Day
Some strange, but cool stabs of guitar chords open this with a sound that is vaguely fusion. The tune grows out from there with some world music in the mix. I love the prominent violin that comes over as this thing rocks out in places. There is some almost power-pop stuff in place at times. The thing with this song is, if you don't like where it is, just wait because it's bound to change soon. There are some killer bits of instrumental magic over the top of it. It's a very unusual and unique arrangement that's purely on fire. The fast paced, hard rocking instrumental section takes us into more traditional prog rock territory as the violin soars. It drops way down from there and gradually rises back upward. There is a powerhouse, almost metal, jam near the end that gives way to a short burst of jazzy stuff to end it.
Take the Reins

They start things here with a jazz meets lounge sound and that holds it for a while, but they take us out into a killer modern prog jam from there and then alternate between those musical elements. There is a full on horn solo jazz treatment later and then they move it out into metallic territory. We get some Crimson-like music and some more metal sounds. This is another powerhouse.

Real?

Piano starts this out, but as the other instruments join it’s got a definite dissonance and odd texture. This falls pretty well into a RIO sort of stance, but yet there are some more accessible sections. While I’m not crazy about some of the more dissonant stuff they bring in some music that’s very much like Emerson Lake and Palmer and manage to elevate this piece with that. As they shift out to more modern neo-prog sounds this is incredibly powerful and involved. In many ways this is the most purely progressive rock song on show. The piano takes it with a Wakeman-like solo later. And that instrument ends it.

Global Citizen

Powering in with a whirling dervish of sound, this has some more of that Kansas sound on the introduction. They bring some punk rock into this as they carry on, but it’s quite definitely pure modern neo-prog. The violin figures prominently on this and I also make out some sections that make me think of Rush. They bring it down further along the road to a full classical music treatment and then bring it out from there into an alternative rock motif. From there they take us out into some serious metal music, but the smoking violin solo brings us back into Kansas territory. As the crunch guitar is added to this it has a more modern metallic prog feeling to it.

 
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