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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Lydia Lunch – Cypress Grove

A Fistful of Desert Blues

Review by Gary Hill

This collaboration between Cypress Grove and Lydia Lunch is pretty fascinating stuff. Is it progressive rock? Not really. But, it’s art rock and it has elements in line with modern prog. For those reasons I’ve landed it under prog. What it is, though, is compelling. The vocals are more often than not spoken. The music has a lot of Americana built into it, but it’s also got dreamy sounds. Space rock and psychedelia are frequent visitors to this soundscape. Whatever you call it, this is great.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 4 at

Track by Track Review

Dreamy, trippy, rather sparse music is the backdrop here. Lunch delivers the vocals in a raspy spoken style. The combination of two things works so well.

When You're Better
There’s more of a rock energy here. It has some Americana, but it’s also more of a space rock proggy thing. It’s just as cool as the opener, and that’s pretty darned cool.
Devil Winds
Although there are no huge changes here, somehow this is even stronger than the two that preceded it. It’s a powerful piece of music.
This has more of a balladic approach on the music and the vocals are more sung at times.
Beautiful Liar
As good as everything to this point was, this blows it all away. It is a lot more rocking, with layers of sound rising up above the mix at times. That said, the verses are mellower, it’s only when it gets toward the chorus that it rises up like that. Overall, this just oozes cool.
I’ll Be Damned
Slow and bluesy, this also has plenty of that psychedelic, trippy space music in the mix. In a big change, this one gets some male vocals, too.
St Marks Place
With a more complicated vocal arrangement, this is more of a folk rock kind of piece.
Space rock is definitely a strong piece of this song. It’s a bit more of a rocker than some of the others.
Some harmonica adds a cool element to this. The cut gets some of the crunchiest guitar of the whole album, too. There are more male vocals on this one.
Summer of My Disconnect
A dramatic, dynamic and diverse song, this is probably my favorite of the whole album. It’s not a huge change, but it just works so well.
End of My Rope
This one is much more of a straight ahead hard rocking song, distorted guitar and all. It’s a cool one.
Tb Sheets
Jimi Hendrix merges with blues, jazz and more on this killer number. The harmonica returns and this just very classy.
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