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Progressive Rock CD Reviews


and Monica Martin - Awake and Pretty Much Sober

Review by Gary Hill

This is an intriguing project. Violents is Jeremy Larson. He's an electronic artist. He's been doing releases with different female vocalists, and this is his latest. I have to say that I like what I've heard here. Perhaps it's not actually a tight fit under progressive rock, but it is progressive music, and art music. My only complaint on this is that the vocals, particularly early, have a tendency to be overproduced some of the time. Monica Martin's voice seems strong enough to warrant better treatment. Still, it is obviously an artistic decision and we get what we get. All in all, this is quite good.

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Track by Track Review
Awake and Pretty Much Sober

The electronic sounds that start this are odd, but also somehow compelling. They are artificial, but have an almost soulful, organic vibe to them. It drops way down for the vocals and the cut continues to evolve from there. There are some symphonic and powerful electronic segments later in the cut. This is quite a ride, really.

Line Lie
The vocals are heard right at the start on this cut. This has more of a soulful element to it, but at the same time it reminds of things like The Buggles to a large degree.
How It Left

This is definitely trippy electronic stuff. It works quite well. The balance between energized and mellower is good. I love the vocals on this cut. They have a great kind of groove to them. There is a cool vibe to this number.

There is a lush, symphonic air to this piece. The vocals really embrace the electronic concept here better than on some of the other numbers. I think that the production seems better, too, landing more in the hands-off territory. All of those things make this one of the highlights of the set.
A mellower cut, a lot of this is based on just piano and vocals.
Second Class
There more energy and drive on the opening here, but it drops way down for the vocals. The tempo and power returns later. The whole cut shows off a real passion and artistic flavor, though.
Equal Powers
There is a dreamy, soaring type of element at play here. This is quite pretty and effective.
This is more along the lines of electronic weirdness, but the vocals ground it, making it seem more organic. It gets more mainstream drive as it continues, though.
This one lands closer to a dance style of music. I love the vocals on this tune. It has a great energy. Again, in some ways this makes me think of The Buggles a bit.
It Won't Stop
Coming in percussive, this is a unique sounding piece. It has quite a bit of world music in the mix. I love the symphonic elements on this. It's more of stripped down song. The vocals bring the humanity to it. The closing segment is quite classical in nature.
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