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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

The Electric Family

Ice Cream Phoenix – Resurrection

Review by Gary Hill

There is quite a mix of sounds here from psychedelic to space rock, RIO, country and R & B. The easiest way to describe this would probably be adventurous music that challenges reviewers by not fitting well in any one place. That said, it makes a killer disc and I’d consider it progressive rock, really.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Solid Structure

There’s a definite psychedelic, almost surf music tone to the opening section here. Harmonica shows up as the introduction continues. The on the chorus are mostly spoken and have a retro charm. This definitely has plenty of retro sound in the mix. The verse vocals are more sung. Piano and other elements over the top add a lot of style and character to this piece. There’s a screaming bit of guitar later as it really powers up. Still, it’s a slow moving number that combines bombast and charm into something special. Some noisy dissonance later brings in an almost Rock In Opposition sort of sound.

Last Phase Of The Moon

Bass guitar dances in the background as psychedelic rock elements create the music over the top. This has all the charm and quirkiness of the previous tune, but somehow is a bit more accessible. There are hints of symphonic texture in the mix of this cut. It also has a lot of drama and power.

Landmark Visions

More mysterious and a little strange, this is melodic and tasty. It moves slowly and builds slowly.  As it continues a killer instrumental movement ensues that climbs out into space rock. As the extended instrumental section continues it really resembles Hawkwind quite a bit. This is one of the best cuts on show and features some killer melodic guitar soloing.

Dancin' Lady

While the hard rocking riff that drives this has some punk in the mix, there’s a lot of space rock in the overlayers. Of course, there’s also plenty of psychedelia  and some roots rock here, too. The female vocals bring hints of R & B. A false ending gives way to a short reprise.

Airchild

Hints of country music are heard on the melodic opening movement of this cut. Combining that sound with the elements heard to this point and perhaps some Mazzy Star, this is another strong tune. There’s a rather trippy spoken section that has some killer melodic guitar soloing.

Wisdom Of Wolves

There’s more of a straight ahead rock and roll sound to this one. Still, many of the same musical elements heard to this point manage to appear. There is some great guitar soloing on this piece.

Careful With That Axe, Eugene

Here they turn their attention to interpreting the Pink Floyd classic bit of space psychedelia. Somehow they bring some country music into the mix, but I also swear I hear quotes of Jimi Hendrix. Still, when it fires out to the screaming section, it has some definite space rock music in it.

Axechild - The End

There is definitely a lot of country music built into the waves of sound that swim over the top of this piece of music. It’s a melodic and pretty cut that still manages to hold the psychedelic sound of the rest of the set.

Careful With That Axe, Eugene (Alternative Version)

As advertised, here we get an alternate take on the Pink Floyd cover heard previously. There seems to be less of that country element here.

Landmark Visions (Live)

Here we get a live version of the earlier tune. It feels more acoustic and organic in this arrangement. There is some scorching hot guitar soloing on this thing.

Last Phase Of The Moon (Live)

The final track of the set is another live version of a song presented in studio performance earlier. I think I like this performance better than the studio one.

 
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