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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Motometer

Motometer

Review by Gary Hill

This debut disc should appeal to a lot of people. It’s essentially an instrumental album, though, so that will limit the fan-base a bit. Still, those who enjoy guitar driven instrumental progressive rock, jam band music or perhaps even some fans of fusion will find plenty to like on this set. The most obvious reference here is probably Primus, but there’s a lot of other stuff to be found in the mix, too.

This is quite an intriguing debut set. It should be interesting to see where these guys go from here. They have a sound that’s cohesive and compelling, yet still diverse enough to avoid becoming monolithic. This is an intriguing set.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Mexi Pepsi

“Mexi Pepsi” starts the set off and really does a great job of preparing the listener for the ride that the rest of the disc will provide. After a percussion based introduction layers of effects and atmosphere come up from nothingness. A guitar based segment seems to combine Genesis and Pink Floyd sounds. The bass, though, along with a girl speaking lends credence to comparisons to Primus. Still, a spoken section also calls to mind Frank Zappa’s “Valley Girl.” While this is quite modern, it has both funk and jazz in the mix.

Cuda
As the rhythm section opens this it definitely has a Primus feeling to it. Some of the guitar that comes over, though, calls to mind the Hagar era of Van Halen. This song seems to balance those elements in a jam that’s quite tasty. It’s also quite short.
Mr. Rohrer
This cut opens with something that’s more like heavy metal. Still, that is combined with something more like the rest of the music here. It drops way down for a rant kind of like a “found sound” recording. It should be noted that the rant certainly earns the cut a parental advisory warning. It also brings some definite humor to the table.
Felt
Although “Felt” has a central riff that’s more purely mainstream rock, the cut also features some segments that are quite jazz-like. There’s some dialog later that feels like it comes from television or the movies. One part of it is definitely Grover from “Sesame Street.” This number has some definite groove and calls to mind both jam band music and the Dixie Dregs at times.
HWood
The rhythmically driven movement that opens this feels a bit like Rush. As it continues more of the Dregs influence is heard. The bass guitar is the one element that shines the most on this piece, but nothing is weak.
Roms
Funk is the order of business on the bass line that opens “Roms.” The song seems to have a Dixie Dregs meets jazz feeling to it.
Simple Cell
Featuring lots of police radio chatter and some sirens, “Simple Cell” has a very funky bass line. It’s another with a lot of Primus in the mix.  
The Eight
With a real 1970s funk vibe, a bit like the stereotypical “dirty movie” music, this has sound bits that fit that description. While not specifically explicit in terms of language being used, it’s another song that’s not overly suitably to be played around kids. That said, there is some great bass work on this and it has a cool texture. There’s a harder rocking section later that again begs comparisons to Primus, but there is really a lot of jazz-like sound in it, too.
Special Report
This is aptly titled because a special report is heard in the background. It features a hard rocking sound with some more Primus like bass work. There’s a cool little bit of humor at the end. 
Play Ball
Combine the melodic side of Van Halen with the Dixie Dregs and the result will be close to the disc’s closer, “Play Ball.” It’s not a huge change or a surprise, but it makes for a satisfying conclusion to a strong disc.
 
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