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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Secret Policeman’s Ball

Teenage Crimewave

Review by Gary Hill

This album seems to run between alternative rock, noisy sounds that wander between punk and shoe-gaze and progressive rock. The main vocals are female, but there are some male ones, too. It’s good, but after a while tends to seem a bit monolithic. Still, it’s a fun set nonetheless.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Brian's House

A little burst of sound gives way to a mellower, melodic jam that serves as the backdrop for the first vocals. This builds out as sort of a punk rock meets modern alternative rock based prog jam.  This turns to a literal screamer later.

I'm Not a Scientician
I guess Radiohead meets shoegaze and The Pixies would be a pretty good description of this piece.
A Flock of Beagles
As one might guess from that title, there is a bit of an 80s sound (A Flock of Seagulls, perhaps) to this piece. That sound gets merged with the same kinds of things we’ve heard throughout the previous two tunes.
A Young Stephen Dorff
The rhythm section to this is seriously turbocharged. There are some cool guitar bits that weave over the top later, too. Overall, though, the formula is starting to wear a bit thin here.
Sweaters
This is a lot more angry than anything to this point. It’s got an almost extreme metal vibe to it at times. That’s the chorus, though. It’s contrasted to the verses which are more melodic and proggy. There are some pretty unusual shifts and changes on this one.
They Already Banged
As this come in it definitely feels like 1980s music. This is one of the most consistently melodic tunes. It’s just that the droning kind of noisy music featured here is getting a little monotonous by this point.
Padfoot
This one is pretty non-descript in comparison to the rest of the stuff here. It’s not bad. It just doesn’t manage to stand out at all.
Try to Find Shon a New Hat
Now, this is different. It’s basically a short (less than a minute long) hardcore punk song.
Stairway to Upstairs
I like the keyboard sounds on this fast paced rocker, but other than that, it’s pretty similar to everything else here.
Sometimes My Arms Bend Back
The vocals here are more upfront. The male vocals dominate. That’s a change from the rest of the set. Overall, this hard rocking powerhouse is one of the more unusual pieces here. It’s arguably the strongest tune here, too.
 
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