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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Secret Saucer

Four on the Floor

Review by Gary Hill

There is a big change on this disc, well at least on one tune as it has vocals. Beyond that, this delivers the classic type of space rock one expects from Secret Saucer. It manages to move their sound forward while remaining true to it.

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
Please Welcome

This is just a very short, echoey spoken bit in another language. 

Time Spent out of Mind
There’s a killer bouncy sound as this powers out. It has some space rock in the mix along with some harder edged, almost punky textures. Psychedelia is heavily represented on this beast, too. Then a little before the minute and a half mark it drops to atmospheric space music. Around the two minute mark it powers back out into a jam that has more Hawkwind in it, but is definitely related to the opening movement.
Lunar Pull

While the space rock continues here, with the processed, computerized vocals this is closer to Kraftwerk. There’s more of a jam band groove to it, though and the guitar lends some Hawkwind-like elements. The keyboards that solo over the top bring some more mainstream progressive rock (albeit old-school). It’s an energetic tune that works well. There is some mellower music later in the piece, but it comes back out after that into the same stuff that preceded that section.

Daedal
Now, in general this isn’t a huge change, but the space rock here gets a lot harder rocking and there is some awesome guitar soloing on this thing. Somehow they just really upped the ante on this beast and it pays of in one of the best tunes of the whole set.
Awaken

While this still fits well within a general space rock heading, this is a huge change. In a lot of ways it’s closer to something from old Genesis. It has vocals and fairly intricate and well-developed musical composition. This is a great piece of music that creates a nice bit of variety here. It’s one of the best, even if it’s one of the mellowest.

The Dark Rift

There is a dark texture to the keyboard sounds that open this, but they also call to mind Jon Lord’s work in Deep Purple a bit. More layers of sound are added as this continues.

Celestial Spigot

There’s almost a jazzy vibe to this cut, brought in mostly through the horns. In addition, it really has a great spacey vibe. This works through for a quite a while in that basic musical concept. It’s a nice change and cool tune, but does seem to go a little too long in one line of thought.

Four on the Floor

Mellower, but no less spacey, this track is quite cool. In fact, I’d chalk it up as one of the best of the whole disc. This is a very long track and later in its running time some vocals come in with a bit of a groove. This is one of the most Hawkwind-like tunes here, but there is also a definite symphonic electronic texture at play. There’s a reason this is the title track because it’s one of the strongest tunes on show here. Nothing changes extremely fast or dramatically, but it is constantly evolving. There is some tasty melodic guitar soloing later in the number, too.

Aegean Bridge

Powering out, this feels connected musically to “Time Spent out of Mind” to me.

Notch

Super mellow, this is very much a keyboard showcase of ambient space.

A Saucerful of Secrets
And, here we get a cover of the early Pink Floyd tune. This is psychedelic, spacey and tasty all in one. It works through several changes, but all gradually. It gets pretty crazy at times. It’s a cool version.
 
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