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Non-Prog CD Reviews

The Guilty Lenses

Somewhat Romance, Somewhat Poetry

Review by Gary Hill

This is an intriguing alternative rock set. It's often rough around the edges. Each song here works pretty well by itself, but as a whole it gets a little monolithic. That said, the problem is apparent mostly in the first half of the disc. The set works better later. I think that perhaps if they'd left a few songs off and moved some of the tracks from the latter half to different positions in the running order, this would be a stronger album. Then again, a lot of people just listen to a song or two at a time these days, so perhaps that's a moot point.

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Track by Track Review
Five Mins to Close
The arrangement on this feels a bit tentative with a start and stop approach. The vocals bring more of an alternative rock vibe. This works out later into an unusual jam that has early rock and roll, country and even some fusion built into it.
On the Loose
The first part of this is understated. The cut works out to bouncy old school rock and roll infused music. There are some hints of reggae, too. Overall, though, this is an alternative rocker.
Dance Bar Blues
I love the killer rocking vibe of this number. This takes the old-time rock and roll element out of the picture. The hard rocking texture is ramped up. This is one of the highlights of the set as it really intensifies the basic concepts. The dropped back section does take a little from it, though.
Dancing Lights
The opening movement feels a little rough around the edges to me, but the cut drives out into some smoking hot alternative that has some hints of shoegaze in the mix. It really becomes quite a powerhouse. This earns a parental advisory. It has more dropped down moments along the musical road, too.
Shape of Mind
This number has more of an artsy vibe to it. It leans heavily on the less powered up concepts. While this is interesting, it doesn't work that well for me. The formula seems to be wearing a bit thin by this point, too.
Better Love
There is a good energy on this tune. It's more of a pure alternative rocker. It's one of the stronger tunes here.
Look Good
With a bit of an emo meets alternative rock feeling to it, this cut rocks pretty well. It has some hints of shoegaze and is another of the standouts of the set.
I like some of the melodies on this quite a bit. The rough around the edges approach works alright. The old time rock and roll is back in force on this number.
The dark alternative sound on this is dramatic. The cut is arguably the highlight of the set. This doesn't suffer from the samey quality that infects much of this release. There is definitely some shoegaze in the mix here. It powers out into some seriously punky stuff in a movement that seems part hardcore and part shoegaze later.
Street Lights
A fierce metallic punk-based sound opens this tune. The cut drops to a more plodding alternative meets metal approach for the first vocal section. It fires out into more screaming punk after that movement, though. This is another standout tune. This definitely brings some variety to it all.
Brave New World

While the mellower opening movement on this is more like the first part of the album, they bring in some high energy hard rocking sound later that drives it upward with style. There is some killer shoegaze like stuff later in the piece, too. This is a strong number that is really another highlight of the set. It does earn a parental advisory.

There is a lot of punk in the mix on this energetic tune. It's another of the stronger tunes here.
Prima Donna
The early parts of this have more of that tentative alternative rock approach to it. The cut gets into some fierce punky zones later. This gets a small parental advisory, too.
Between the Paradise and the Sun
Coming in with a mellower approach, I'm reminded of Radiohead a bit here. This cut remains understated. It brings some variety to the set. While not a highlight, I do like this quite a bit. There is an acapella snippet at the end.
Too Much to Ask (AM Alternate Lyrics Cover)
There are some guitar lines on this that have a bit of a psychedelic edge to them. Beyond that this is a bit too samey and more of an "also ran" tune.


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