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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Low Standards, High Fives

Are We Doing The Best We Can?

Review by Gary Hill

If you haven't been following music closely for the past decade or so, you might think that punk rock and progressive rock are about as far apart as you can get. The thing is, even back in the 1970s there were acts that managed to merge the two concepts. With the advent of post punk and shoegaze, though, the two were firmly merged. Sure, it's not the kind of thing prog purists will ever acknowledge as progressive rock, but it really is. It's also creative, and that's where I'd put this album.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 6. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2020.

Track by Track Review
Bite Me
Drums start the album. Bass joins as the rhythm section drives the cut forward. This has a real post punk arrangement to it. Elements of both shoegaze and psychedelia are in the mix here. This has some melodic edges and an almost pop rock song structure in some ways.
Silent Decor
I love the swirling dream-like element that permeates this number. It's another that has real links to the shoegaze movement. Yet, it's also decidedly post punk. This gets very intense before it's all over.
Night Seeds
Coming in powered up and fierce, this isn't the proggiest thing here, but it has its angles. There is a powerhouse jam later in the track that has both prog and punk elements seemingly merged together.
The Twist
This makes me think of Radiohead to some degree. There is a real shoegaze vibe here. I can make out hints of The Cure on this, too. This is soaring, creative and so cool. As strong as everything to this point has been, this really raises the bar.
Remember Me
Melodic rocking brings this into being. There is a bit of proggy timing to it as it moves outward. This is a powerhouse.
Just Like Silence
This earns a parental advisory. It's a powerhouse jam that has some great shifts and changes. The later portions of the track move out into a dreamy, shoegaze styled section that is great.
Slow Dancers In A Rush Hour
The prog elements on this really shine. Sure, it's of the alternative rock variety, but you can't deny them. This cut runs almost five-minutes long, and the bulk is sans vocals. When there are vocals they really ramp up the proggy aspect of the track.
Crazy Boy
A bit mellower and low-energy, there is a dreamy post punk vibe to the cut. Of course, it's tempered with the shoegaze concepts. The track does fire out into intense, harder rocking stuff further down the road, too.
Distance By Connection
Coming in understated and a bit experimental, this is decidedly proggy. The cut has a nice balance between those mellower sections and more rocking ones. It's all potent and prog, though. It gets pretty soaring at times, as well.
 
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