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Non-Prog CD Reviews



Review by Gary Hill

The mix of sounds on this set is fairly wide. We get things from folk rock merged with space rock, to alternative rock, psychedelia and more. Some of this would probably fit pretty comfortably under a modern progressive rock label, but overall, I wouldn’t put the set there. I would say that it’s pretty consistently strong. It does get a little samey here and there, though.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 5 at

Track by Track Review

I like this opener quite a bit. It seems to combine folk rock with space rock. In some ways it reminds me of some early Pink Floyd. In other ways, it makes me think of the acoustic Zeppelin stuff from Zep III. There is Americana in the mix here, too.

You're Strange
I think I make out some theremin here. At least it sounds like it. This has the same kind of mix of sounds as the opener in some ways. It really does feel like a lot of modern progressive rock. The piece is evocative and powerful. If anything, I’d say this is even stronger than the opener. It has a healthy dosage of alternative rock in the mix. There are moments that make me think of Radiohead a bit.
This cut is more pure alternative rocker. Still, there are some bits of psychedelia here. It has a lot of Americana in the mix, too. There is enough space rock mixed in to make it worth mentioning. This has a bit of a punky edge, as well. I don’t like it quite as much as I do the first couple songs, but it’s still quite good.
Man of the Year
Although this isn’t a big change, it’s perhaps more clearly in the alternative rock arena. It’s a good tune, but suffers a bit from the lack of variety.
Breaking Down
Another in the realm of alternative rocker, this is a fun cut. It stands tall based on the strength of its content, really. It’s one of the better pieces here.
It's Late
A bit slower and mellower, this is more like moody modern prog in a lot of ways. Still, the folk influences are easy to spot here, too. This is another strong cut. It brings some variety to the proceedings, too.
I like the passion in the vocal performance here. This is quite a solid alternative rocker. It’s a classy tune and some definite variety. This does earn a minor parental warning on the lyrics.
Better Than I've Been
Combining a mellow alternative rock style with some psychedelic elements and more rocking sounds, this is another strong piece. Some of the guitar work here really shines, too. Again, I almost think I hear theremin on this number. It could be some kind of keyboard or even a whistle type instrument, though.
Bottom Out
Much more of a rocking number, somehow this makes me think of some of the melodic rockers from Jane’s Addiction, with perhaps some Temple of the Dog thrown in for good measure. It has some psychedelic rock elements and Beatles-like parts, too. It’s one of the more directly accessible tracks here. It has more energy than a lot of the rest, too.
The title track is much more of a mellow piece. It’s got some dream pop in the arrangement. It’s very folk oriented, or soft rock styled perhaps. It’s a little moody, but also seems to feel hopeful. It’s also quite pretty.
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