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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

ScienceNV

Bite My Bolero

Review by Mike Korn

Prog fans with a love of classical music are highly urged to check out this three-track EP from ScienceNV, whose ranks are composed of actual scientists. An irreverent title like Bite My Bolero might suggest a lackadaisical attempt to poke fun at the original sources, but actually the three covers here can be characterized more as "playful" than "insulting.”

When you have a release composed of interpretations of works by others, a lack of creativity is somewhat inevitable. This release is a novelty that shows ScienceNV having a little fun, tipping their hat to some influences and buying some time until their next full-length comes out. If you like the original tunes and you like true prog in the "classical" tradition, this is a nice little diversion. (Editor’s Note: It should be noted that each of these pieces has been released on a previous album from ScienceNV. So, while these renditions are not new, putting them all together in this format is.)

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Danse Macabre
Here the band apply themselves to the famous spooky piece by Camille Saint-Saëns. This song symbolizes Halloween as no other does. ScienceNV faithfully reproduce it, emphasizing its more sprightly and lively qualities. The music alternates between a more keyboard dominated sound and a guitar dominated sound, with the guitar sections naturally sounding "rockier.” It's quite a long piece and is perfect for getting into the ghostly Halloween mood.
Mars
Fans of the band will recognize this cut as being the same that appeared on the album Last Album Before The End of Time. It recreates Holst's classical piece from The Planets. It starts quite faithfully and majestically, with a foreboding war-like march. However, the track does veer from its source radically at a couple of points, dabbling in a very Hendrix-inspired guitar solo and some almost jazz fusion bits. By the wrap up, though, it returns to a direct cover using plenty of synth, building to a rousing climax.
Bolero
This time it's Ravel's classic that gets the ScienceNV treatment. This tune has always had a light and airy feeling and this version retains that for the most part. I was rather put off by how long this seemed. It also had a "stop-start" feel that disagreed with me and although it is technically the shortest tune here, it felt like the longest.
 
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