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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Moksha

Here to Go

Review by Gary Hill

Moksha combine jam band sounds with fusion, space rock and progressive rock to create a sound that’s just plain impressive. They change things up enough from track to track to prevent it from ever feeling repetitive or old. While not everything here fits under the heading of progressive rock, there’s enough prog here to fit them under that category. Whatever you call it, though, it rocks.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Arrival

This is a short (less than thirty seconds) introductory piece that combines effects with the sound of diesel truck. 

The Seed
From the effects laden introduction they launch out into a killer jam that’s got some funk and a lot of fusion built in with a little bit of Latin textures. There’s a killer guitar solo on this one.
Real Show
The basic musical structure presented in the previous number is not greatly changed here, but they bring in some reggae and other aspects as they bring this one in and get it going. 
Measure of All Things

While many of the same musical concepts remain, this one is moved out into directions that are more in keeping with what many think of when they use the term “progressive rock.” The vocals are more high pitched and this is a killer melodic tune that combines jam band music with modern progressive rock. There are a couple interesting instrumental sections that seem to combine the sounds of Terrapin Station Grateful Dead with progressive rock.

Into Thin Air
Here’s another that’s closer to the mainstream progressive rock side. It’s got a melodic sound and definitely more of that Dead meets prog approach. Parts of this instrumental call to mind Emerson, Lake and Powell.
Starswarm
There’s a harder edge here on the rhythmic structure, bringing an almost metallic feeling to it. That said, there’s also a real big band sound on the horn section. This is a powerhouse tune that’s among the best here. There’s a section later that brings in some Pink Floyd-like sounds.
Here To Go
We get some melodic progressive rock over a killer, energetic groove on this number. It’s very tasty. The lyrics and even some of the music bring in a bit of a space rock element and there are some Floydian tendencies on this one, too.
Bubbles
Noisy space brings this in a lot like Hawkwind. That holds it until they launch into a killer groove that combines jazz with Pink Floyd and Hawkwind. As they continue this instrumental jam it definitely fits well into a space rock goes jazz motif. It’s one of the highlights of the set. There’s some killer retro styled keyboard soloing to be heard and some tasty guitar work. This goes through a number of changes in a dynamic and powerful arrangement. Later we get some awesome synthesizer soloing.
Leg Up
There’s a bit of a fun air to this, kind of like some of the mellower side of White Witch. It’s an expansive and dynamic piece that’s very cool.
Fruit of Tulum
We get some Allman Brothers thrown into the mix here. There’s also some Latin music to be heard. This instrumental is cool, but definitely less progressive rock oriented than a lot of the rest of the stuff here.
Awaken My Love
There’s a killer classic rock groove with some jazz and progressive rock built into it on this smoker. It’s another strong tune on a disc that’s full of them.
En-tranced
As the title suggests, there’s a trance-like air to this. It’s got energy and power, but there’s a real dream-like quality here. They work this instrumental through several changes and it becomes a little more “Earthbound” at times. It definitely does a great job of combining jazz, space rock and jam band sounds into one effective piece of music.
Sampling the Sampler
They bring this one in with a classic rock meets prog and jazz sound. The vocals enter atop this backdrop and we’re off. It’s a killer jam that really works nicely. They end it with the sounds of the diesel engine driving off to create a great bookend effect.
 
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