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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Gunnelpumpers

Montana Fix

Review by Gary Hill

I really like the blend of sounds these guys have. They create music that sort of transcends rock, world music, classical and jazz. For my money that makes it progressive rock, but whatever you call it, it’s great. Fans of instrumental music with variety and a sense of adventure will like this one a lot.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Bolander

The rhythm section leads this off and it grows dramatically but gradually out from there.

Naghra
This piece pounds in and grows out into something a bit like modern King Crimson or Djam Karet merged with world music. It really rocks out as it builds later. It drops down to a very stripped down arrangement further still down the musical road. Then it gradually rises back upward.
Floobah
World music and instrumentation along with freeform acoustic jazz opens this and grows out gradually. It gets pretty intense and has some classical elements at play, too.
D'bass'd
The driving rhythm to this serves as the backdrop for some noisy freeform jamming.
Hip Hip Beret
Classical music is merged with a rather crazed freeform jazz element on this jam. This is weird (and another that does beg some comparisons to both King Crimson and Djam Karet) but also very cool.
Smokeblossom
This rises up like a world music take on psychedelia. World percussion joins and the piece works out in an exploratory fashion that encompasses psychedelic, classical and world music. More rock-like elements emerge later.
Bottley Functions
Very stripped down world music opens this one. It never really moves beyond that beginning, but is a short piece, anyway.
Drunken Alley
Psychedelic weirdness opens this and the track builds from there. It does feel drunken in a lot of ways. It’s really almost ambient and it’s very strange. Still, it’s somehow compelling.
Buffalo Jump
Drums start this and hold it for a time. Then some noisy music enters the fray. This grows out into another jam that has quite a bit of King Crimson in it. It seems to be a steady climb upward in terms of intensity and volume.
Sparkleboat
This is a pretty sparse jam that’s made up of classical instrumentation doing some serious freeform jamming.
Aureilius the Cinderbiter
Crazed classical elements open this and it works out in a very freeform way. This gets quite exploratory and strange as it continues. It also gets rather noisy later.
Montana Fix
There is definitely an organic early Hawkwind vibe to this thing. It builds from there in dramatic, but still understated ways.
Bassacaglia
Slow and contemplative, this is a cool piece of music that stays in the territory of melancholy classical music for quite some time.
Puzzle Dust
They bring the rock here. There are still classical and world music elements in place, but this thing rocks out like crazy.
Zaftundzwanzig
Percussion leads out here and they turn in it into a jazzy kind of swing vibe. This is another cool tune.
Stwing Feowy
Starting out tentatively, there is a stripped down jazz vibe at first. That shifts closer to classical as this continues. It gets pretty intense at times, yet still remains stripped back in a lot of ways. It does turn towards some weird space rock late.
Mundus
Tentative classical elements open this track and it rises out gradually from there. It evolves into trippy ambient weirdness as it continues. It is really the oddest thing here. It is mostly just little bits of seemingly unconnected sound. It’s quite psychedelic in that regard.
Earthing
Coming in rather gradually, this builds out to some fairly intense music. It’s got some space rock and psychedelia in the mix. That is blended with jazz and world sounds.
Ouroboros
The closer has a lot of energy and a lot of rock ferocity. Still, it’s delivered with the more classical instrumentation for a different vibe.
 
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