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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Deep Rivers

Nothing Ever Happens to Me

Review by Gary Hill

This is a new release from a Canadian act. It has a lot of folk music built into it, but probably lands closer to the alternative rock end of the spectrum. Musically there is quite a decent range, but there is a moodiness that permeates all of it, and gets little oppressive at times. Still, if you take it only a few songs at a time, they can shine better, and pretty much everything here would work well that way.

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Track by Track Review
Straight Shooter
Acoustic guitar rises up from ambience as this begins. That instrument remains the main element of the instrumental arrangement as the number continues. The vocals come in over the top of that. After the first vocal section more layers of voices and instruments emerge. A dreamy, trippy kind of echoey element emerges. Further down the road this turns much more rocking.
No More Mister Nice Guy
I love the violin on this piece. The cut has a powerful folk based element to it. I'm reminded just  a little of something like Camper Van Beethoven, but twisted a bit more toward folk music. There are some Beatles-like elements that emerge at times, too. As cool as the opener was, this is even more powerful. It includes a bit of a twist before it electrifies into some harder rocking zones to continue.
Grave Digger Diaries
I dig the moody, rather dark rock groove on this song. It has some folky, roots leanings, but is more of an alternative rock song. It is classy stuff. The violin brings some real magic to the tune.
I dig the echoey, dreamy, alternative vibe on display here. The over layers of sound lend a depth and style that's classic. I love the climbing movement later. It brings the cut toward the zone of shoegaze territory.
When the Money's Gone
I dig the rocking groove on this. It has some hints of psychedelia, but with a real alternative rock edge. The DIY alternative concept is a big part of this.
Nothing Ever Happens To Me
The title track begins in a much more folk-based approach. It builds slowly and gradually before a cool growing Americana based element joins. There is a real sense of cool and style here. This is one of the standouts, so it makes sense that it's the title track.
Busy Bee
There is a soaring, dreamy quality to much of this song. it has some folk music built into it, along with alternative rock. The main elements here, though, are dream pop and shoegaze. It gets into much harder rocking zones later, too. This is another highlight of the set.
Keeping Up
Slow moving and very mellow, this cut has a dreamy, trippy psychedelic edge.
Bottle of Rye
More of a classy alternative rocker, this isn't a huge change from some of the other stuff here. It works well, but the formula of moodiness is wearing a bit thin by this point.
Maybe Someday
This cut is the most "different" one of the set. It's also the most interesting. It has some real modern progressive rock tendencies. There are jazzy elements and all kinds of tasty weirdness. It is definitely a redeeming point, and a great way to end on a high note (figuratively, of course). This isn't far removed from stuff like Porcupine Tree, but probably more closely aligned with things like Radiohead.


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