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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Brainticket

Past, Present and Future

Review by Gary Hill

Psychedelia and a lot more show up on this release. Overall it’s space rock or progressive rock, though. Comparisons to Hawkwind are at times valid, but I hear everything from Nektar to Curved Air on this. I like the album a lot. I’ve done our standard track by track review, but I’ll say that this really is the kind of thing that works better as one long work than a bunch of individual songs. Purchase it and spin it that way. You’ll want to thank me for the advice, but it’s not necessary. Just enjoy it.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Dancing on the Volcano Part 1

Electronic sounds open this and it powers out into some killer space rock. It’s high energy and classy. It’s also still electronic more than it is anything else. There’s a dramatic, slower, poetry reading section later that definitely makes me think of Hawkwind quite a bit. A weird space jam ensues before they move out to more rocking space sounds. Flute wanders over the top of a space jam beyond there.

Dancing on the Volcano Part 2
This instrumental comes in with mellower space jamming. It has a very free form kind of mode early. It eventually shifts out to driving, hard edged space rock that really rocks. It drops way down to very mellow sounds as it continues forward. With flute dancing over the top, this has some great melodic elements and is builds outward. It eventually angles toward more rocking sounds, but never rises completely up. The piece is over 21 minutes in length.
Reality of Dreams
Starting with some pure psychedelia, the cut works through a number of different sections. It’s really a great combination of psychedelic rock, space music and prog, with each of those dominating at different times.
Proto Alchemy
A mid-tempo number, this space rocker has a harder edge than some of the rest. Still, the melodic elements and general textures keep it spacey. Like most space rock, not much changes quickly, but it does change. There is an especially mellow bit right at the end.
Riding the Comet
This has a lot of energy with keys and drums driving the start. Somehow, to me, it has some elements of surf guitar music, but it’s also not far removed from something like Nektar. In many ways, this is the most blatantly mainstream prog piece here. It’s still got some definite Hawkwind space built into it, though. It has some mostly spoken vocals later. This is quite a cool tune.
East Moon
Piano drives the start of this cut. That piano continues prominently as the song moves forward. While much of this instrumental is definitely the space rock one expects, it does work toward jazz at points.
Singularity
I love the killer driving riff on the start of this one. It works out toward more science fiction based space prog. There are a number of shifts and changes going on with this tune. It’s a killer rocker.
Egyptian Gods of the Sky
Suitably Egyptian in sound, this prog rocker is very tasty. It’s theatrical, dramatic and quite rocking. It’s still got plenty of space melody in the mix, too.
Brainticket Blues
Blues combines with psychedelia and space rock on this killer retro textured tune. The flute adds quite a bit to this piece.

 

 
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