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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Paul Roland

Bates Motel

Review by Gary Hill

With that title I had hoped for something more Gothic and scary. Well, that’s not what this is. However, this is a lot of fun. It’s very British and very cool. I’m guessing that the re-issue is meant to capitalize on the publicity surrounding the new TV series of the same title.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
I Was a Teenage Zombie

There’s a cool bouncing groove to this thing. It’s kind of part punk rock, part space rock and part prog.

Kali
Atmospheric and mysterious, this is quite a cool piece. It’s rather pretty, but there’s a bit of an otherworldly, nearly frightening edge to it. It’s basically a symphonic progressive rock ballad. There is a killer space rock jam later in the track with a lot of Middle Eastern textures built into it.
Bates Motel
Fairly mellow and retro textured, this is moody progressive rock with a decidedly British flavor. Needless to say, it’s tied to the “Psycho” film.
How I Escaped from Devil's Island
More raw, this is a rather punky jam that’s fun.
The Wailing Well
More like atmospheric progressive rock, this one’s a bit spooky. It’s also quite cool.
Tortured By the Daughter of Fu Manchu
This is more straightforward rock. It’s not one of the stronger cuts here, but it’s got a good vibe to it.
The Light of Life Drains Out of Me
Here’s another cut that’s not bad, but not really all that special.
Katmandu
Quirky and very British, this isn’t one of my favorites, but it’s fun. It’s also a bit of variety.
Promised Land
A cool retro organ sound opens this. It works out to a more straightahead rocker from there. Still, there’s some of that quirky British edge to this piece. I really like the organ solo section on this a lot.
Crazy
Punk meets quirky British pop on this playful number.
Cain
This is quite a cool tune. It’s a proggy kind of bouncy number. There are some great instrumental layers and textures. The vocal line and song structure both include more of that British pop kind of vibe.
I'm in Love with Myself
This is a bonus track. It’s more of that bouncy kind of quirky classic rock sound found on a lot of the songs here.
 
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