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Exhibit A

Make Mine a Lobster

Review by Gary Hill

I don’t think too many will disagree with putting this under progressive rock. Yes, the music does occupy a more mainstream section of the genre, but it is almost certainly prog under most definitions. If I had to pick one comparison and live with it, it would be the Charlie Dominici period of Dream Theater, but that is really only so accurate. All in all this is a disc that’s quite strong, but seems a little awkward at times. I look forward to hearing what these guys will do next. They show a lot of potential.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Touch the Stars

This pounds in heavy, and still rather proggy. The verse is a stripped down approach with an AOR sound. The keyboards bring some progressive rock to the proceedings. Some intriguing musical lines on the chorus provide more progressive rock. There’s a cool melodic rock guitar solo later in the piece, too.

Carousel
There is a quick paced little progressive rock introduction here. It gives way to a song proper that’s a lot more pure prog. The music seems to combine fusion with something close to modern Rush. There a few little twists and turns and intriguing mellower movement that almost feels a bit like Lake.
First to Last
Even more pure prog, this cut really doesn’t sound like any particular band. However, there are a few points that call to mind ELP and a few others that seem similar to Asia. All in all, though, this is decidedly melodic and catchy modern prog that’s not really derivative of anything specific.
A Far Cry
Although this is harder rocking, it’s still quite securely set in a progressive rock vein. Comparisons to the more melodic side of Dream Theater are somewhat appropriate here. There are a few twists and turns and there are some great keyboard elements to be found. The bass work is also noteworthy on this track. In a lot of ways this really does make one think of the music on Dream Theater’s first album.
Rush of Blood
The intro on this somehow reminds me of a proggier version of Duran Duran. From there, though, it shifts out to a section that calls to mind both early Dream Theater and Rush. The bass work is again exceptional. There’s an instrumental section later that calls to mind Open Your Eyes era Yes a bit. This song really gets quite involved and dramatic later and the vocal arrangement is very effective.
Darker Sun
Some of the early sections to this feel a bit like Yes. As it moves out to the song proper, though, it’s more like Dream Theater meets Genesis. There are some sections here that call to mind Rush, too. Still, nothing’s overly derivative and various sounds are merged and alternated as the piece continues.
Wake Up to Reality
A mellower number, the keyboards play a prominent role in this piece. The links to the Charlie Dominici fronted version of Dream Theater are heard here, too. There’s an interesting slower movement and a powered up section that really rocks.
Missing Years
There’s a stripped down motif of keyboards bass and vocals making up the first sections here. It’s an interesting change of pace, but not one of my favorite segments of the disc. This becomes more powerful later and some of the chorus vocals are really strong. There’s also a killer instrumental section later that has its basis in a bass guitar and keyboard dominated sound.
Scenario
With more of an AOR sound, there is still some progressive rock on display here. At times this moves pretty close towards a mainstream approach and at other points it’s decidedly more progressive rock oriented. There is a smoking hot instrumental section that serves as the extended outro.
 
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