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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

City Weezle

No. 2

Review by Gary Hill

Good luck labeling or categorizing this album. It clearly fits under progressive rock, at least as art rock. Beyond that, though, this is all over the place, often in the course of one song. Frequent references to things like Faith No More, Primus, GWAR, Green Jelly, King Crimson, Frank Zappa and the Residents make sense. Of course, just looking over that list, you can see how wide ranging this is. It's artistic. It's unique. It's also strangely effective.

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Track by Track Review
Captain Introspective
A dramatic piano arrangement starts this piece. There is a sense of mystery and majesty to it. It feels like something that would have fit in a Harry Potter movie. Around the one minute mark the arrangement shifts to a hard-edged driving guitar based progressive rock concept. It's so classy. Then it drops back from a vocal section that makes me think of Faith No More. There are some theatrical elements as it drives onward. This is part metal, but decidedly art rock or prog based. This is full of crazed shifts and changes. It's tastefully weird and decidedly unpredictable.
The Underground in Europe
Old time music and musical theater seem to be on the menu as this starts. The cut grows out from there with neo-classical tinged prog rock that has a lot of old world music built into it. This just keeps changing. it has some metallic hard rocking moments of the extreme variety. The whole thing is so strange and theatrical, though. There are some definite symphonic elements at times, too. This has a lot of GWAR and Green Jelly built into it. It gets really intense at points.
Maestro Mafioso
European music brings this into being. Then again, given the title, what else would you expect? The cut shifts toward hard rocking prog jamming after the first vocal section. It has a metallic art rock edge at points. As is the norm on this album, the cut is packed full of shifts and changes. It has some of the most mainstream rock of the whole disc in a later movement. It works toward shoegaze at times, too. There is some killer guitar soloing on this piece.
Crimson Jig
This has a killer, tastefully off-kilter vibe to it. It has intricate riffs dancing around one another. The cut does feel exactly like the title suggests it will, as long as you read "Crimson" as "(King) Crimson.' Some killer, almost fusion-like electric guitar rises up later with style. The whole tune just oozes creative prog rock sounds. I dig the organ solo later. The track slows down around the halfway mark, bringing back those comparisons to Green Jelly. It eventually reforms from there with neo-classical and world music concepts merging as it does. Working through some transitions, they eventually make their way back to similar territory to that heard on the first part of the track. This thing has some real neo-classical elements and is a powerhouse. I really like this instrumental a lot.
She's a Stomper
This is a screamer. It has a lot of metal in the mix. It channels both Green Jelly and GWAR, but also Rob Zombie. It earns a parental advisory. The cut is dynamic and some parts have an almost metal meets King Crimson vibe.
Even Weezles Get the Blues
An old school blues jam with definite jazz elements brings this thing into being. There lyrics to this are pretty dirty. I'm reminded of Frank Zappa at times on this number. This is perhaps the least proggy thing here, but it definitely has a weird art rock thing at its heart.
Eskimo Pie
A cool fusion groove starts this number. It works out from there with a sense of fun and style. This gets into some fusion-like zones. It's one of the more mainstream things here.
Creative, bouncing and rather crazed, this is a theatrical and intriguing cut. This piece works through a lot of shifts and changes. There is some smoking hot prog rock guitar that brings to mind modern King Crimson at times. The number has some seriously metallic stuff at other points. Primus, GWAR, The Residents, Frank Zappa and more are valid references at different times. There is a drop to strange psychedelia at one point in the number. I love the pure jazz romp section after the eight-minute mark.
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