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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Paul Roland

and Midnight Rags – The Werewolf of London

Review by Gary Hill

This is a new issue of old independent release from Paul Roland. The music here is sort of a quirky mix of progressive rock, psychedelic rock, punk and folk music, along with some decidedly British elements. It’s pretty much all theme oriented and it’s also quite cool. This isn’t exactly the standard mainstream kind of music people clamor, too. It’s quirky and left of center. It’s also very cool.

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
Blades of Battenburg

The keyboards that open this are dramatic and a bit ominous. It powers out to a more straightforward song structure. This thing really rocks. The vocals bring a rather punky element to the thing.

Brain Police
There is a bouncy kind of keyboard dominated musical texture to this thing. It has a new wave meets progressive rock vibe to it. I can definitely make out comparisons to Hawkwind. This is playful and fun. More of a dramatic and serious progressive rock jam, with a bit of a reggae vibe, joins later in the piece.
The Ghoul
A cool keyboard introduction brings a rather spooky vibe to play. From there the cut works out to a bouncy kind of jam that’s punky and quite cool. Keyboards deliver a proggy jam near the end of the tune.
Flying Ace
Bouncy, folky music, this is very British. It’s got a charm to it, but is a bit odd. This very much makes me think of some of the folk progressive rock from the 1970s.
The Puppet Master
Psychedelic rock, folk and other sounds are merged on this odd little piece.
The Cars That Ate New York
There’s a lush, keyboard oriented prog rock vibe to this piece. It reminds me a bit of Gary Numan in some ways. There are really some lush keyboard sections to this piece. It’s one of my favorites here.
Public Enemy
For some reason this makes me think of the psychedelic pop side of early Pink Floyd quite a bit. It’s bouncy and fun.
Werewolves of London
Weird science fiction like music opens this. The song proper kicks in with that same bouncy psychedelic rock vibe. This powers to some harder rocking sounds as it continues. In a lot of ways this feels like Hawkwind at times. The saxophone soloing over the top really lends that element to it.
Dr Strange
Keyboards open this. It works to a cool prog rocker with a lot of psychedelic rock in the mix.
Lon Chaney
Folk and psychedelic music merge on this rather creepy and yet charming piece. There is some world music built into this thing.
Mad Elaine
More of a folk piece with symphonic elements on the outskirts of it, this gets psychedelic sounds in the backwards tracked stuff later. Again I’m reminded of very early Pink Floyd quite a bit.
Sword And Sorcery
This is one of the real highlights here. It’s hard rocking and quite a bit like Hawkwind, but with other elements at play, too. I like this one a lot.
Bonus Tracks
 
The Old Dark House

Creepy keyboard sounds open this and make up the extended introduction. It powers out to more hard rocking territory from there. A fast paced, more purely prog jam is heard mid-track. A spoken word piece adds a different air to the piece.

Angel
A bouncy psychedelic rocker, this is another that calls to mind early Pink Floyd at times. The saxophone solo on this is a nice touch.
Cavalier
Folky music with prog leanings is the order of business here. This is a good song, but it doesn’t really stand out from the pack. Of course, it is a bonus track.
Jack Daniels
Hard rocking, this feels like a pretty classic bluesy rocker. It’s not anything all that special, but again, it’s a bonus track.
 
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