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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

State Urge

White Rock Experience

Review by Gary Hill

I love this album. In fact, it’s likely to make my “best of 2013” list. It’s a great blend of classic progressive rock, space rock, psychedelia and modern rock along with some metallic elements. This never gets old and it never fails to entertain. It’s an awesome ride start to finish.

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
Third Wave of Decadence

Sound effects open this and waves of sound join shortly after that. It builds in an almost psychedelic meets classical way. It evolves quite gradually into a real soaring modern progressive rock sound as this continues. Eventually a rather Pink Floyd like guitar joins and the piece starts to get quite insistent as the rises up. It climaxes and space keyboards remain to end it.

Preface
Powering in rather heavy, this feels a bit like Pink Floyd merged with Dream Theater early. It drops down to a keyboard dominated movement for the first vocals of the disc. When it works out to the chorus it gets a more rocking sound. It evolves to a killer retro tinged jam before it drops back down (but not nearly as far) for the next vocals. After another powered up jam the cut ends abruptly.
Time Rush
Keys start this and dominate the early section here. This feels a bit like Pink Floyd, to a large degree because of the vocals. A little before the minute and a half mark it explodes out into a rather metallic (but still decidedly prog) jam. Then we get a bouncy (almost reggae) bit of music with spoken words over the top. It resolves to more mainstream progressive rock from there. It keeps changing and evolving and growing. It’s a powerful piece of music and has some rather classically tinged guitar over the top of some space rock music at times.
Long for You
Moody atmospheric progressive rock opens this cut. As the chorus enters it has a more mainstream pop rock vibe to it. That gives way to more mellow prog, though. When the piece gets more energy there’s a percussion part that sounds too much like synth-drums to me. And, when I say “synth-drums,” I mean the cheesy kind. Still, this is an interesting song that brings a definite bit of variety to the table.
Illusion
Waves of mellow, slow moving keyboards open this. It grows gradually and there is a great feeling of impending excitement and energy. It is delivered upon with a cool jam that’s got a lot of old school prog built into it. Then a melodic instrumental movement takes over from there. This definitely turns into an awesome space rock tune from there. It gets quite powerful before dropping down for some mellower magic. Then vocals join and it continues. That’s not until after the six minute mark, though. The vocals don’t stay around long, but neither does the song once they join. The closing sections almost have a bit of a Pink Floyd vibe to them.
Tumbling Down
The music that opens this makes me think of Pink Floyd’s “On the Turning Away.” By the time the vocals, join, though, it’s become almost a bluesy psychedelic sound. That merges with the Pink Floyd sound to hold the first three minutes or so of this. Then a hard edged guitar screams out, bringing almost into a stoner metal motif. As it drops back for the guitar solo this really feels a lot like Pink Floyd. There is a short return to the earlier mellower section for one final vocal bit to end it.
Gaze
Trippy music, quite a bit like early Pink Floyd opens this and carries it forward. There are some more powered up sections to this song. Even those, for the most part, though, feel very much in line with 1960s psychedelic rock. This is a killer tune and it does get into a jam later that makes me think of Pink Floyd merged with Deep Purple. There’s a harder rocking jam that’s more like modern metallic prog late. It serves as the closing movement.
All I Need
Here we get cool jam that starts a lot like Genesis. As it works outward it does start to feel a bit more like Pink Floyd again. This continues evolving from there, though. It gets pretty heavy at times and has a more modern sound in place as it works further down the musical road. There are some tasty melodic guitar solo sections and this just plain rocks. There’s a rather unusual, modern rock meets electronic music movement for the next vocals, but then it works back out into the killer instrumental progressive rock sounds. We’re taken through several variations and changes and this is the perfect way to end such an awesome album.
 
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