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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Lucas Lee

Featuring Marco Minnemann - Lowered Expectations

Review by Gary Hill

This newest release from Lucas Lee continues his brand of progressive rock. It is often King Crimson-like, but has plenty of other leanings in place, too. While it's quite freeform in terms of changes, somehow it feels cohesive and coherent, too. There are no vocals in terms of singing, but there are a lot of spoken processed things like sound-bites.

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Track by Track Review

Trippy ambient elements make up the backdrop for a spoken voice that's sort of processed into an almost cartoon element. After that section this powers out into hard rocking King Crimson-like stuff that's pretty insane and quite cool. This is driving and mean. It works to a section that (while still very King Crimson-like) is a lot more light-hearted. Eventually that moves into some Crimson-like fusion that drives it forward. A new jam emerges around the three minute mark with a killer, almost rubbery riff at its core. That voice is heard again later, but just a small bit.

A Jester's Gesture
I love the melodies at the core of this soaring number. It's a killer track that works so well. This has some killer twists and turns, turning almost metallic at times. A different spoken voice is hard in the mix on this at times. There is a more melodic jam further down the road. There are some rather psychedelic stuff at the end.
Paternal Irresponsibilities
There is a real metal edge to this. Some more processed voice is heard on this, more as an instrument. The cut has some pretty crazed shifts and changes. It manages to get into some more melodic stuff at points, too. There are some pretty dramatic and rather freaky movement in this number. This is one heck of a ride, really. It's quite dynamic and diverse, but so is everything else here, really.
Scripted Empathy / Uninvited Guests
Mellower sounds open this. A spoken voice (again quite processed) is heard on this introductory section. It pounds out into harder edged craziness from there. They make great use of the balance between mellower and harder rocking on this number. That provides an excellent contrast between the lighter and heavier moods. This is quite complex and definitely intriguing. It's also effective in an odd sort of way. The cut seems to end around the six and a half minute mark. Then some ambient tones serves as the backdrop for a bass-like progression. That section takes the track to its real ending.
Grateful to Entitled to Disrespectful
Percussion brings this into being. Folk styled sounds that remind me of Tempest rise up from there. The cut moves forward with that merged with an almost psychedelic vibe. Then it twists toward a heavier tone as it moves onward. Around the two minute mark it shifts to a freeform kind of weirdness that is related to the RIO movement. It continues to grow and evolve. I love the riff that takes over after the three minute mark. Don't get comfortable, though, because this piece keeps being reinvented and altered. A mellower section takes over as it approaches the six minute mark. Various alterations emerge without it actually rising upward.
Please Do Not Squat on the Toilet Seat
The sounds of someone whistling while walking precedes the music here. Then some hard rocking sounds emerge followed a flushing toilet. After a bit the music returns with a riff that feels like King Crimson does Led Zeppelin. It starts evolving from that point with some decidedly classical progression in place. As it drops back for a bit that spoken voice is heard again. The ride gets pretty intense and crazed as it works forward. Shifts and changes are often rapid. There are parts of this that make me think of Frank Zappa. Other things land closer to the KC end of the spectrum. There is little piano bit at one point, and I love the echoey mellower break, too.
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