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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Robert Nix

Once in a Blue Moon

Review by Gary Hill

I’ve put this under “progressive rock.” Is it traditional prog? Certainly it is not. It does have a lot of modern prog in the mix. It’s also very much in the vein of “throw out the rules.” I’d say that much of this has an awkward edge to it, yet that is one of its charms, really. There are some missteps, but overall, this is solid.

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
Won't Go With The Flow

This is very much a moody, proggy type of number. I love the piano and the bass in particular on this. It really does have a great “flow” to it. There are multiple layers of vocals. This is odd in a lot of ways with weird bits of melody firing in from different directions. Then again, it is a song about fierce independence, so that really makes sense. With some dissonant parts, this has definite ties to Rock In Opposition to me.

Once In A Blue Moon
The title track is, oddly enough, a drum solo. It works through various sections. I’m not a big fan of percussion solos, so this doesn’t really do a lot for me.
Watch Us Fall
Psychedelia merges with a prog element here. This has a driving guitar that works in weird patterns of sound. It’s unusual, but also very cool. It’s hard edged, but still quite melodic in a lot of ways. Again the multiple layers of vocals are a great touch.
The Evil Eye
This is an unusual piece. Then again, that kind of applies to everything here. It’s definitely got a lot of psychedelia in the mix. There are some definite prog things in some of the instrumental passages. It gets into some pretty spacey territory at times. Although a bit awkward and odd, it’s also compelling. There is a strange scratched record bit at the end.
Time To Make Up Your Mind
This is a mellower cut with a lot of acoustic guitar. Some of that acoustic work is particularly intriguing. There is a bit of a soaring element to the arrangement here, too.
Dad's Song
This is a rather weird keyboard solo. It has a real horn kind of sound to it. There are some unusual tones and melodies.
Real Time Drum Solo
And, now it’s time for another drum solo. Again, this is not really my thing. I think it’s a bit of overkill to include two drum solos. This one is a lot less interesting than the first one was.
What Will You Do (Out Of School)?
The mix of psychedelia, alternative rock and prog is complete here. The piece has angular lines of vocals coming across while the musical arrangement weaves an unusual backdrop. The guitar solo is particularly meaty.
Stop the Cruelty (You Mindless Human)
This isn’t a huge change. It’s an odd bit of psychedelic rock infused music. There are things here that (if the vocals weren’t present) remind me of Djam Karet.
Can't Get To Sleep
Although this doesn’t vary much from the previous cut, there are some hard edged sections that feel almost Rush-like. There are some more purely prog moments, too.

 

 
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