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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Frogbelly and Symphony

Blue Bright Ow Sleep

Review by Gary Hill

This is such an unusual and original set. It’s also brilliant. The mix of sounds here is the kind of thing I’ve seldom heard. While I have laid out the basic premise of each piece, you really have to hear this to fully appreciate it. If you like your music adventurous, I highly recommend this.

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
Minderbinder

This is pretty crazy stuff. It comes in with a trippy kind of sound, but gradually works out to harder rocking stuff. It keeps shifting and changing. I love the section with vocals delivered almost like stream-of-consciousness. The fact that the lyrics mention “Captain Kirk” is a bonus in my book. Some of this is almost metal. Others land in symphonic progressive rock territory. It’s ever changing and adventurous. That’s for sure. It’s also quite cool.

Invite to Eternity
Although this is brighter and definitely not as heavy, it reminds me a bit of Giant Squid. There is kind of a dreamy, psychedelic rock vibe here. We also get some classic progressive rock in the mix. It’s energetic, melodic and quite strong.
Ride off into the Sunset and Disappear
This is strange. There are some female vocals that are operatic. The lyrics earn a parental advisory. The music has a real world music bent to it. The male vocals that are lyrical are nearly spoken. It gets more into rocking, psychedelic territory later and has an almost lounge lizard vibe at times.  Some parts make me think of The Doors. Other parts have a real Spanish element. Odd as this is, it is also compelling.
Before I Die
The psychedelic rock styled opening section here really does remind of the Doors. Eventually this works out to something that seems tied to 1980s rock. Overall, this is one of the most mainstream things here. It still has an edge of strangeness, though. Also, this has a real trippy, psychedelic weirdness jam at the end. It’s not one of my favorites, really.
Patch of Blue
Imagine Camper Van Beethoven merging with Giant Squid. You’ll be close to a lot of this song. That said, there’s a real blues rock kind of section that’s quite classy. This cut gets quite heavy and crazed at times. At points it reminds me a bit of King Crimson, too – especially the crazy bit of weirdness late.
Cola in Mongolia
Old time jazz and more blend together on this fun, bouncy number. It’s more mainstream than a lot of the stuff here, but still decidedly left of center.
Leyla's Find
This is more of a straight-line cut, too. In some ways it makes me think of Jefferson Airplane a bit. That said, there is an alternative rock element here, along with some strangeness. It also has a heavier section that again makes me think of Giant Squid.
Shingle
A very creative cut, a lot of the vocals here are spoken. It has a freeform vibe at times. Yet, it’s a real progression. It’s hard edged and a bit odd, but it’s also one of the more compelling and effective pieces. The classical strings add a lot to the tune.
Organism
This starts with a poetry reading over symphonic sounds. It grows out to trippy sounds from there. It has a jazz meets alternative rock vibe in a lot of ways. Yet, it’s psychedelic, too.
Hazyland
Hard rocking and energized, there is a real 80s rock vibe to this in a lot of ways. I’m reminded of The B-52s a bit, but if that sound were merged with a harder edge and some modern prog. This works through a number of changes and is quite dynamic.

 

 
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