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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Mahogany Frog

Senna

Review by Gary Hill

The mix of sounds here is pretty wide ranging. At times it seems quite psychedelic. At other points it’s closer to various points in Pink Floyd’s career. Then there are sections that call to mind Genesis. Still others seem related to Dream Theater. Whatever you call it, though, this is some killer progressive rock that’s likely to please fans of both old-school prog and the modern variety.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Houndstooth, Pt. 1

A swirling keyboard pattern opens this in atmospheric ways and then builds upward. It works to something that at first feels a bit like Pink Floyd, but then starts to resemble early Genesis. As it continues to evolve from there, though, Floyd again becomes an apparent reference, particularly the Meddle era. It gets a lot heavier from there and starts to fit better in a modern progressive rock motif.

Houndstooth, Pt. 2
As this shifts out of the previous cut, it starts to feel more metallic, quite like Dream Theater. Still, there are definite Genesis type sounds in the mix. They take this thing through a number of changes and alterations. Parts of it make me think of Yes, but overall this thing just plain rocks out like crazy.
Expo '67
A sound effects-like keyboard bit that sounds almost like a lawn mower at times starts this. From there it powers out into some smoking hot progressive rock jamming that’s part metal and part classic prog. There is some amazing music in this one. There are bits here that make me think of Frank Zappa.
Flossing With Buddha
Birds start this off and then something that sounds like a psychedelic organ with a twist comes in to create the first music. This is bouncy and a lot more pop-like, but still has plenty of killer progressive rock at play. It’s one heck of a ride, moving this way and that along a real roller coaster of a journey.
Message from Uncle Stan: Grey Shirt
Sound effects start this and it grows out very tentatively with weird psychedelic sounds working along the backdrop and gradually building. In a lot of ways this makes me think of early Pink Floyd. It has that same sort of jam type psychedelic sound to it. A picked guitar section that rises up later has almost an early Hawkwind element in place. The cut grows out from there with more of a melodic rock sound emerging. Later it starts to rock out a bit harder and there’s a bit melody that creeps in over the top that makes me think of spaghetti western music. It becomes more of a hard rocking straightforward tune beyond that point. There are still shifts and changes as they work forward.
Message from Uncle Stan: Green House
As this transitions from the previous number, a cool bass guitar solo is heard. They work out from there with some smoking hot psychedelically tinged progressive rock. There are several changes and alterations as various musical themes emerge and play through. It’s another dynamic and powerful progressive rock instrumental.
Saffron Myst
Percussion that feels programmed serves as the tempo keeper here. There are bits of mellow keyboard work that come over the top to present the melody. After it gets an infusion of energy, the drums feel more real and there are some killer melodic journeys that emerge.
Aqua Love Ice Cream Delivery Service
Weird keyboard bits open this, but then around the minute mark it powers out into some seriously hard rocking music that still has that keyboard sound. This is very much space rock oriented, but also heavy and energized. Later there are bits that call to mind Yes a bit and it also gets pretty metallic at times. Sound effects take over after while and hold it with bits of seemingly unconnected melody emerging here and there. Around the seven minute mark there’s a bit that calls to mind Baroque music. The section ends it.
 
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