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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Kid Lab Rat

More Sad Songs

Review by Gary Hill

The mix of sounds on this set is wide ranging an unusual. There is plenty of electronic texture here. At times that even leans toward progressive rock. Yet, hip hop is perhaps the single element that shows up most frequently. Still, punk and metal make appearances in the sonic recipe as do grunge and alternative rock. All in all, this is intriguing set of music.

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Track by Track Review
Artsy electronic music merges with hip hop and alternative pop on this opening piece. Its intriguing blend of sounds is effective.
Same Old Song
Perhaps even more electronic and artistic, I like the piano sounds on this piece. This cut is not a big change from the opener, but another solid example of the sound of this act.
Let You Down
There is a bit more of a rock mode to this piece. It is slow moving and has some hints of bluesy music in the mix.
Rolling Lotus
This cut is a bit more of a dreamy, balladic piece. The artsy angle is back in force here.
Holding On
With more of an electronic vibe, there are female vocals included in the mix here. This one is more processed, but somehow it works (despite the fact that I'm not a fan of overly processed music). It has plenty of hip hop sound in the mix. The number brings some variety to the set. It's odd, but also works as a standout.  It definitely gets a parental advisory for the lyrics.
Gone Away
Take some alternative rock, blend it with a moody modern pop rock angle. Then infuse that with a lot of grunge. You'll have an idea of what this slow moving, rather sedate tune sounds like.
Blood Stains
This is more of a pure hip hop piece in a lot of ways. That said, it definitely has an electronic music angle to it, and drifts more in that direction at times. There a real artsy thing on display, too.
Grunge rock, electronic textures and more are heard on this number. I'd even say that this comes close to modern prog rock in a lot of ways. It earns a bit of a parental advisory.
Just Like You Said
Another with a parental advisory, electronic music and hip hop merge on this number. It has a soulful vibe. I dig the female vocal on the number.
My Blackened Heart
There is a moody, almost techno vibe to this piece. The piano sounds lend some real dark magic to it. The whole piece is somber and so cool. This is artsy and another that leans toward progressive rock zones. It's also my favorite piece here.
Behind Enemy Lines

Coming in with an almost punk rock sound, this is a huge change as it starts. It's guitar based and fierce in this opening. The tune drops to more of the electronic, alternative hip hop sound to continue. The number eventually makes its way to a mellower motif that has a lot of techno elements at play. I'm reminded quite a bit of Tool. From there it evolves to the most hard-edged stuff of the whole disc. It's very metallic.

Johnny Rotten
Trippy electronic elements bring this into being. The cut gradually moves outward from there. The number makes good use of the contrast between the mellower sounds and the harder rocking techno rock movements. It's a powerhouse that's another highlight of the set. That makes it a great choice to close the set.
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