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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Umbrella Bed

Refill EP

Review by Gary Hill

This five track EP is quite cool. The quick and easy way to describe it is “ska,” but there’s more to it than that. The final track is the oddity. That one’s a remix. Although normally I’m skeptical of such things, it works pretty well. The rest of the disc is great. There is a variety of sound here, but it still all fits nicely together. If you dig ska and like it loud, this is for you.

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
Wish That It Would Stop

There is what sounds like a bar conversation to open this. Then it pounds out to some hard edged music. This is bouncy ska with some great layers of sound over the top. The vocal arrangement is lush and this is just plain fun. The contrast of horn section to fuzz-buried guitar is cool. The vocal hooks are catchy. It’s an unusual, but very effective piece of music.

Gone Away
A punky drone opens this in style. The cut works out from there with echoey elements and the horn section adding a lot of class to the piece. This has more of a mysterious, but quite dramatic sound to it.
Got It Wrong

As cool as the two openers were, this one blows those away. It’s got a fast paced infectious sound and the vocal hooks are really catchy. This is just fun. If it doesn’t get you moving, you might be dead. I absolutely love this song. The horn section really gets a chance to shine.

Two Tone Monster
The bass line driving this is awesome. The song is more quirky than anything else here. The punk rock vibe is definitely up front. That said the horn section and overall arrangement keep it in a different mood. It’s an interesting jam that’s probably not for everyone, but it’s fun.
Dub Away (A. Zoellner remix)
As one might gather, this is a remix. The song that serves as the source is “Gone Away.” I’m not overly crazy about these remix kind of things, as a rule. That said, there is kind of a trippy, spacey psychedelic vibe to this that works pretty well.
 
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