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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Bruce Stringer

One

Review by Greg Olma

Instrumental albums have always been a difficult genre for me to get into.  Since I don’t play any instrument, I tend to gravitate towards the lyrics and vocals.  That being said, I do find the occasional disc that captures my attention and winds up in my CD player for a while.  One is just such a record.  Bruce Stringer manages to not only play all the instruments but he also manages to write these tunes so that non-musos like me can enjoy it.  Often guitarists come up with a CD worth of guitar solos, and it just becomes a “look how good I am” affair but Stringer opts out of doing the show-off thing and shows us his good song writing skills.  The disc contains tunes that stand on their own, yet it still feels like a collection of works when you listen to the whole thing in one sitting (which I recommend). 


This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Hieronymus Bosch

Some ominous keyboards start things off, but then we get some cool Yes elements along with some Alex Lifeson-esque guitar soloing.

Carnation

An 80s sounding keyboard intro starts off this track.  The guitars have a very weird sound to them, but they fit the song perfectly.  When I hear this tune, I picture the original Terminator movie.

OMNI

If any of you remember Aldo Nova, this tune reminds me of his Subject LP.  I really like the guitar playing on this one.  Also, anyone who is a Joe Satriani fan will love this track.  It has those Aldo Nova elements, but it also has those funky grooves that Satriani brings to a song.

Mathematics

There are some female vocals on this one (not lyrics but vocals nonetheless).  This reminds me of the first track with some dramatic Yes elements. There is also some great soloing towards the end.

Talk Talk

As the title would suggest, there is talking throughout this odd track.  It sounds like little snippets from movies over a repetitive keyboard riff.

Mount Etna Erupts
This song reminds me of early Asia music. While a couple of the earlier pieces have more of a dramatic sound, this one has more of an uplifting vibe about it.
Dreaming of Machines
Now we get a great bluesy track that has some great guitar work.  I always find that a good guitarist can get more out of a few notes than someone who solos really fast.  “Dreaming of Machines” proves that point with Stringer really letting his guitar sing.
Gemini

I really get into this cut about half way through because the soloing is really good.  The beginning is a little bit of a snooze-fest but the back half of the song makes up for it.

World of Tomorrow

Those Yes/Asia elements come back on this piece.  The riff is extremely catchy and will have you humming it for days.  This is quite possibly my favorite from this release.

Who Will Protect The Innocent?

If you listen closely, there are some really driving percussions in the background.  The soloing on this tune is also really good because it fits perfectly without overplaying.  The album ends with the same ominous keyboard sound that started the record.

 

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