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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Secret Saucer

Tri-Angle Waves

Review by Gary Hill

While I like all the discs I’ve heard from Secret Saucer, this might be my favorite from these guys. There seems to be a bit more of a jam band vibe here, but the Hawkwind and other space rock elements are still in effect, too. All in all, this just seems a more effective set in some ways. Still, you can’t really go wrong with this outfit.

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
Night Encounter

Cool space sounds open this one in style. Those elements continue in a classy mellow movement that seems to combine science fiction film sounds with something close to the more electronic side of Hawkwind. It never rises beyond the point of spacey sound effects driven textures, but it is quite cool, nonetheless.

A Sublime Metaphor

This starts mellow and spacey and retains that element as the bass enters and begins to drive into more rock territory. In fact, early on this is established as more of a rocker than the previous tune.  As it builds out the space elements are still well in place, but there are almost some jazzy sounds. Parts of this make me think of Hawkwind’s Hall of the Mountain Grill, too. It grows out in some unexpected ways, turning towards more freeform prog at times. It’s one of several extended pieces here.

Protoplasmic Accelerator

At almost sixteen minutes in length, this is the most epic piece of the set. It also starts off rocking harder than anything we’ve heard so far. It has a definite Hawkwind meets jam band sound to it. The jam gets a little less rocking and more melodic as it continues and they create some great musical tapestries here. Parts of this almost make me think of The Doors. It never changes quickly , but it’s consistently in flux.

Approaching Hunab Ku

Waves of keyboards bring this one in much mellower. There’s a bit of a droning keyboard sound that both hints at an impending power up and calls to mind The Who’s “Baba O’Riley.”  That threat is never realized, though, as the mellow keyboard sounds eventually take the piece out after quite a few minutes.

Light Years Away

There is more energy and oomph as this tune powers in with style. The jam that ensues is quite tasty with that Hawkwind like space rock meets jam band sound prevalent here, too. At times this is almost hypnotic.

 

Mind Mechanics

At close to thirteen minutes of music in this one, it’s one of the longest tracks on show here. It comes in tentatively with dramatic sounds building out gradually. It shifts towards some nicely melodic progressive rock as it continues, but the space rock elements are still heard in the mix. Guitar leads it back out into some more traditional space rock territory. Then later it works to a section that’s very much in a rock and roll jam band kind of sound.

 
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