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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Fox & Coyote

Scattered Shadows on a Double Bed

Review by Gary Hill

While this is not a tight fit under progressive rock, it is clearly art rock. It's a classy release with a lot of roots music and classical strings involved. There is a great balance between the mellower and more rocking stuff, and the whole thing works quite well. Even the stuff that is decidedly left-of-center somehow manages have accessible elements.

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Track by Track Review
(Don’t Tell Me) There’s Nothing In My Head
The musical arrangement on this is dense and powerful. There are some seriously soaring moments later. This has healthy helpings of alternative rock in the mix, but overall is an experimental art rock based thing. The vocals are pretty far outside the box at times, but overall this piece really works well.
Blue Marble
While there is a lot of roots elements here, and some symphonic elements, again this lands well in the vein of alternative rock based prog. The symphonic strings add a lot. So does the electric guitar work. This is more accessible and straightforward than the opener was, but it's still quite avant-garde. There mellower dropped back motif has some definite classical music elements at play. It turns out to some seriously screaming hard rocking sound further down the road. The mellower closing movement combines classical music and roots sounds.
White Spider
I like the vocal performance on this cut. There is a lot of folk music in the mix here. Yet the strings bring some different angles and textures to the piece. This has a definite psychedelic edge to it. It's a cool cut that works well, but is perhaps less proggy than some of the rest. It does get into some rocking territory mid-track.
Everything’s Just Fine
Folk music with classical and rock in the mix makes up the early sections here. This gets into some screaming (literally) hot territory at times. Yet it returns to the more grounded stuff as it resolves. This makes its way through a number of different sections, and there are some more prog rock based things further down the road. I love the noisy jam later, as one of the particularly prog based segments of the track.
May 18
Less prog based than a lot of the rest, this is a hard rocking number. It has some classical strings in the mix, though. I suppose a good description of this might be what you would get if you mixed The Beatles with The Violent Femmes.
While this is perhaps not a huge change, it seems to incorporate all of the varying elements we have heard so far into a fresh concept. There is a scorching hot build up movement here that makes me think of King Crimson (the modern variety) in some ways. I dig the cool electric guitar that dances across a lot of the song, too. It has some shoegaze styled stuff near the end of the run.
A Million Filaments
Powering up with harder rocking sounds, this is a powerhouse cut. While it's more straightforward than some of the others, it works into some seriously soaring and trippy music at times.
Any Light
A bit more immediate and driving, this still has plenty of more art-rock based sounds built into it. It's another killer number.
A much mellower piece, there is a great intricate classical element to this. That's all grounded by more roots music sounds.
Love Is
Another that's built on the mellow side of things, the classical strings really add a lot of magic. The mixing of roots music and classical is strong on this number, and it's one of the most effective cuts here.
Starting on the mellower end of the spectrum, this makes its way to more rocking stuff at times. It's a cool cut with an echoey kind of trippy psychedelic edge to it.
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