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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Paradise 9

Take Me to the Future

Review by G. W. Hill

This is quite an interesting album. It’s space rock, but there is a lot of punk rock edge to it. I can make out a lot of Hawkwind in this, but it’s not a Hawk-clone by any means. It should be mentioned that former Hawk-man Nik Turner appears on this disc. This is really a unique take on space rock and I like it a lot.

Track by Track Review
Digital Signs

As this opens up it feels like a real space rock kind of piece. That whole sound is the concept for the introduction. The song proper, though, is very much punk rock like. There is still a bit of a Hawkwind vibe (there has been a punk side to that group in the past) but the vocals in particular bring a lot of punk to the table. The instrumental breaks are more purely space rock, though.

Crystalised Moments
There’s a mellower, more melodic vibe to this. It’s more of a pure progressive rock cut. This is dreamy and quite cool. The vocals still bring a bit of a punk uneasiness with them, but they work better here than on the opener.
Nothing For Tomorrow
A harder rocking tune, this feels related to some of the more punk rock oriented Hawkwind music. It’s a good tune in terms of the variety it brings.
Kozmonaut

Imagine a sound that combines reggae with Hawkwind space rock and The B-52s. You’ll be pretty close to this cool piece. The vocals are still quirky here, but work better than on the other tunes to this point. Odd as this is, it’s also very tasty. It’s definitely a highlight of the set.

Ocean Rise
This instrumental is one of the coolest cuts of the whole album. It has a great space rock groove to it. Keyboards and saxophone lend some intriguing melodies and textures while the whole thing just flows nicely.
State of the Nation
The bass starts things here. They launch into a killer space rock meets punk jam from there. The instrumental section mid-track really has an early Hawkwind vibe to it.
Points of View

At over eleven minutes in length, this is the second longest piece on show here. It starts out tentatively with an energized but rather laid back jam. Hawkwind-like space is merged with punk and sort of a 1980s vibe as this continues. Mid-track we’re taken into a cool jam that does a great job of merging both the space rock and the punk in the cut into a cool instrumental section. Saxophone adds a lot to the mix. As this continues to work through the Hawkwind elements are clearly brought to the fore. Around the ten minute mark it works out to atmospheric space to continue. That section takes it out.

Is This the Time
A bouncy, punky sort of cut there is enough space rock here to keep it interesting. There is also a bit of a ska vibe to this thing. It’s a short tune and a nice change of pace.
Times like These
This is definitely one of my favorite cuts here. Keyboard sounds open it. Then the bass rises up and that bass is really quite cool in this piece. There is a lot of reggae in the mix, but also plenty of Hawkwind-like space rock. Everything just seems to work really well on this thing.
Anyhow Anyway

There’s a lot more of a punk rock vibe to this. The thing is, it’s also got one of the more complex arrangements of the disc. It’s really quite progressive rock oriented. In fact, this one lands further on the pure prog side of things (rather than the space rock sub-genre) than a lot of stuff. Yet, there is a lot of punk here, too. It’s a strong cut and one of the standouts.

Distant Dreams
More pure progressive rock, but with plenty of space in the mix, there’s not a lot of punk here. This is another standout tune. It’s melodic and quite classic rock in nature. A number of changes ensue and there is a direct Hawkwind quote later in the piece.
Take Me to the Future

This space rock jam is very much like something Hawkwind might have done in the early days. It’s got some great saxophone and a real Space Ritual feeling going on in it. It is over twelve minutes in length, making it the longest song of the whole set and a real epic.

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