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John Lee

The Nature Series

Review by G. W. Hill

The blend of sounds here is intriguing. It’s all instrumental music and I’d have to say it’s progressive rock, more than it’s anything else. That said, there is more surf music in the mix here than a lot of prog purists would be comfortable with. Overall, whatever you call this short (less than half an hour) CD, it’s entertaining.

Track by Track Review
In the Ground

OK, coming out of the gate, it has to be said that the main melodic hook of this one bears a lot of resemblance to REM’s “Man on the Moon.” In fact, so much so that I had to look to make sure this wasn’t a cover. Mind you, that’s sort of a starting point as this is an energetic rocker that’s essentially space rock. There are bits of fusion and surf music in the mix. All in all, it’s a killer instrumental with a lot of guitar pyrotechnics.

In the Wind

The martial beat that opens this makes me think of Holst’s “Mars.” It’s not as clear cut a thing as the REM nod, though. As the guitar soloing comes over the top there is definitely a bit of a Ventures vibe here. There are other musical elements, though, that bring is closer to Yes-like progressive rock. There are some pretty intriguing twists and turns along this musical road.

Vampire Groove

A similar martial beat opens this. As the instruments come in over the top, though, it’s got a real space rock meets Rock In Opposition meets surf feeling to it. This is quite electronic at a lot of times.

Return of the Frogs

This is pure progressive rock instrumental music. It’s a diverse and lush ride through a number of sounds and melodies. There is some more of the surf styled guitar in this, but this ride is far from surf music. It’s an intriguing piece and arguably the most effective one here. There are definitely some fusion related moments here, too. It gets pretty crazed at times.

In the Ground (Reprise)

Here we get, as the title and parenthetical attest to, a reprise of the opening cut.

 
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