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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Principal Edwards

Round One

Review by Gary Hill

There was a time when progressive rock sort of emerged out of psychedelic rock. This album comes from that era. It’s probably best known because Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason produced the disc. This reissue shows that this act might not have gotten the reputation they deserved, but they created some great music.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Average Chap

A vocal wall starts this. Then they launch out into a killer prog jam from there. There are sections that are closer to psychedelic rock, but alternate movements are definitely prog. A mellow drop back section is a classy touch with some folky aspects. This is complex, but also compelling.

Halibut Rock
A piano solo leads this out of the gate. After that they take it to an unusual jam. It has a lot of psychedelic rock built into it. It really is a pretty perfect marriage of psychedelia and early prog. There is a drop at the end to some weird psychedelic sound that segues into the next piece.
Milk and Honeyland
More of a pure prog arrangement in some ways, this still has some psychedelia in the mix. It (as does a lot of this stuff) reminds me at times of early Yes. There are even hints of country music built into this one. It’s complex, but I love the changes. The closing jam is powerful for sure.
The Whizzmore Kid
This comes in mellower, like folk prog. As it builds forward it gets more energy and some psychedelia added to the mix. This is a lot of fun, really. There is some great guitar interplay in an instrumental section later that just seems to keep building. The closing section is a bit crazed, but also quite cool.
Juggernaut
More like a theatrical, slightly weird folk song, this is intriguing and some variety. It’s not one of my favorites, though. Yes, it still has plenty of changes. There is even a shift to something that’s most Celtic. There’s a country hoe-down built into it, as well.
Dear Mrs. O'Reilly
This has plenty of the usual suspects – prog, folk music and psychedelia. The story is a rather chilling one in some ways. The music is complex, yet never really loses the listener. There are some particularly dramatic moments. The closing movement is something more like the kind of music you might expect from the Association or an act like that.
Triplets
This jam works so well. It just oozes a jazzy cool mixed with some classical vibes. It’s a fun instrumental.
The Rise of the Glass-White Gangster
Intricate and quite pretty acoustic guitar rises up to create the melodies at the start of this. Other instruments come up gradually bringing it into a classically tinged folk style. It works to a cool psychedelic based arrangement with some great changes. It’s another that’s a perfect blend of prog and psychedelia. The slightly off-kilter and incredibly cool jam later is one of the tastiest passages of the set. A percussion break takes it into space for a while. They bring it back to the song proper from there. At about ten and a half minutes in length, this is an epic piece.
Bonus Tracks
              
Captain Lifeboy

This is a cool number. It’s part folk music. It’s part progressive rock. It’s part world music. It’s all quite cool.

Nothing
I love the vocal arrangement on this. The song has particularly cool blends of prog and folk music. It also has some intriguing changes and hooks.
Weekdaze
The vintage vocal harmonies at points here are classic. The cut is a fast paced prog rocker. The hard rocking instrumental movement at the end is so classy.
 
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