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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Steamhammer

Mountains

Review by Gary Hill

This album is quite cool. It's definitely a product of its time. It's not pure prog rock, either. It is very much proto-prog. It occupies a space between the bluesy rock of the time, psychedelia and early prog. The mix of sounds works well, and there are some particular magical moments to be had.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
I Wouldn't Have Thought (Gophers Song)

This comes in hard rocking and classy. There is a drop down movement in the mix that has some great proto-prog elements. I dig the cool psychedelic guitar solo. That portion is an extended instrumental movement.

Levinia
The Allman Brothers, sounds like Steely Dan and more merge here. This is a melodic rocker with quite a bit of early prog built into it. That's particularly true of the movement that features an acoustic guitar solo.
Henry Lane
There is a mellower movement at the core of this thing. That's part pyschedelic rock and a big part proto prog. The jam mid-track brings more of that Allman Brothers thing to the table, but also isn't that far removed from some of the sounds on The Yes Album. It's a killer excursion for sure.
Walking Down The Road
This is more of a straightahead mainstream rocker. I like the bass work on this one quite a lot.
Mountains
I dig this song. It lands more in the mellower vein, but has some seriously prog-like moments. The extended instrumental movement is based on exploration and really stretches things out. The playing on that segment is so inspired. To me there is no question why this is the title track. It's the best thing here for sure.
Leader Of The Ring
This is another mellower tune. It's rather trippy and lands in the territory between psychedelic ballad and folk prog tune. I love the guitar work here. I am also enthralled by the general tone and aesthetic of the song.
Riding On The L & N
A classy hard rocker, this lands more in the vein of bluesy 70s rock, but it has some inspired instrumental work. This might not be the proggiest thing here, but it's classy. There are is a cool psychedelic rock instrumental jam. The bass work on this makes me think of Grand Funk Railroad in a lot of ways.
Hold That Train

This is a psychedelic rock excursion that really works well. The guitar soloing is at times very exceptional.

 
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