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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Wishbone Ash

Twin Barrels Burning

Review by Gary Hill

This new double CD re-issue features the Twin Barrels Burning disc from Wishbone Ash. The first CD is the original edition with three bonus tracks added to it. The second disc is an American remix. Let me say that this album is included under progressive rock mainly because of the Wishbone Ash catalog. That said, there is some definite prog in place here at times (more so in the original mix). Overall, though, this is more mainstream hard rock. The sound difference between the two mixes is pretty obvious. The second CD sounds more direct and impactful. I'd say that probably the mix is better - if you want to compare them in terms of quality. There are exceptions, though (for instance, I prefer the original mix on "Streets of Shame.") There is also a different track order on the second disc. I think that perhaps it flows better in that configuration. Finally one of the songs has its title changed from "Me and My Guitar" to just "My Guitar." All in all, this is an effective set, and it's cool to have both versions in one set. It should be noted that, although they do sound a bit different, both discs have the same songs. So, I've used the same track reviews for the sake of consistency.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Disc 1
          
Engine Overheat

There is definitely a blues rock vibe to this with hints of metal. This powerhouse does run in the direction of proggy stuff at times, too.

Can't Fight Love
While this is more of a mainstream rocker, it still has some proggy tendencies in the main riff. It's a killer cut however you slice it.
Genevieve
With some killer guitar soloing, this rocker is more metallic than either of the two openers were. It's a killer cut start to finish, but definitely not prog.
Me and My Guitar
The bass work on this is so funky. The cut is another killer rocker that works really well. It has a bit more prog in the mix, but overall lands more in the blues rock vicinity. The instrumental break does seem to have a combination of prog and metal built into it.
Hold On
This is cool. It has a lot of jazz in the mix. There are also healthy helpings of AOR prog here. It's a classy melodic number that's a bit understated compared the more direct pieces that started this. Yet, it's also one of the best cuts here.
Streets of Shame
Another that blends AOR prog with hard rock, this has some killer guitar soloing. It's a cut that works so well. It's one of the highlights.
No More Lonely Nights
While this retains some of that AOR prog element, it's perhaps closer to metal. In fact, this isn't that far removed from some of the 80s hair metal. It has some more killer guitar soloing.
Angels Have Mercy
Again this has some hints of the proggy textures. It's more of a mainstream hard rocker overall, though. I dig the later sections quite a bit. The bass line in particular is great in that segment.
Wind Up
A real bluesy rock jam is on hand here. I particularly love some of the guitar work on this thing.
Bonus Tracks:
            
Cat and Dog Fight

Now, this screamer is full on metal stomper. It really rocks with a lot of style.

Go for the Gold
This is interesting. On the one hand, there is a metallic crunch to this that isn't that far removed from things like Judas Priest. The thing is, it also has some of the most decidedly prog rock based stuff here. This is fast paced and incredibly effective. It's a shame that this wasn't included on the album proper. Personally, I think it's the most Wishbone Ash-like stuff here, and probably the strongest cut of them all. It includes some scorching guitar soloing, too.
Night Hawker
While this is more of a direct rocker, the instrumental section mid-track takes us into traditional Wishbone Ash guitar prog territory. It works back into the song proper for the re-entry of the vocals. The closing instrumental section returns us to familiar Wishbone Ash type music again.
Disc 2: The American Remixes
       
Engine Overheat
There is definitely a blues rock vibe to this with hints of metal. This powerhouse does run in the direction of proggy stuff at times, too.
Can't Fight Love

While this is more of a mainstream rocker, it still has some proggy tendencies in the main riff. It's a killer cut however you slice it.

No More Lonely Nights
While this retains some of that AOR prog element, it's perhaps closer to metal. In fact, this isn't that far removed from some of the 80s hair metal. It has some more killer guitar soloing.
Wind Up

A real bluesy rock jam is on hand here. I particularly love some of the guitar work on this thing.

Streets of Shame
Another that blends AOR prog with hard rock, this has some killer guitar soloing. It's a cut that works so well. It's one of the highlights.
My Guitar

The bass work on this is so funky. The cut is another killer rocker that works really well. It has a bit more prog in the mix, but overall lands more in the blues rock vicinity. The instrumental break does seem to have a combination of prog and metal built into it.

Hold On
This is cool. It has a lot of jazz in the mix. There are also healthy helpings of AOR prog here. It's a classy melodic number that's a bit understated compared the more direct pieces that started this. Yet, it's also one of the best cuts here.
Genevieve
With some killer guitar soloing, this rocker is more metallic than a lot of the stuff here. It's a killer cut start to finish, but definitely not prog.
Angels Have Mercy
Again this has some hints of the proggy textures. It's more of a mainstream hard rocker overall, though. I dig the later sections quite a bit. The bass line in particular is great in that segment. 
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