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Weather McNabb

Cubicle Zombie

Review by Gary Hill

Weather McNabb has produced a particularly powerful release with this EP. In fact, the boat is getting near capacity with all the great music released this year, but I would say this set is in contention to make my "best of 2018" list. I've included this under progressive rock, but don't expect to hear songs that are directly tied to the prog rock of the 1970s. Instead, this is more along the lines of modern art rock, but there are some more purely progressive rock based stuff here, too.  This is definitely message based, and often angry. It is a response to the corporate world with a healthy helping of feminism in the mix, too. This would be strong without the lyrical message, but that just adds to the impact of the release.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Good Morning
Cool echoey fuzz drenched sounds bring a bit of Americana at the start of this. The cut works out to a rhythmic electronic sounding arrangement from there. The vocals are rather soulful and sultry. This is a bouncy kind of number with some intriguing twists and turns. There is some jazz built into it at times.  While it's not precisely progressive rock, it's clearly art rock. I like the mellower movement that comes in later. This is just such a classy cut. It's compelling, catchy and artistic, but still manages to be a lot of fun.
Adapt

Starting mostly acapella, there is a jazzy edge to it as the music gradually starts to rise upward. It becomes more of a hard rocking song from there. The string textures on this and other elements bring some progressive rock leanings. The cut does earn a parental advisory on the lyrics. It's a hard rocking proggy piece that has a lot of angst built into it. The cut gets quite symphonic further down the road and really works so well. This is a powerful piece both musically and in terms of lyrical content.

War Paint
This rocker has plenty of progressive rock in the mix. Yet it's also hard rocking and driving. It has some great shifts and turns, and really works exceptionally well. It's not as angry as the previous cut, but that doesn't mean that it loses intensity. In some ways this has some of the most decidedly proggy stuff of the whole set, yet it still has a gritty, soulful rocking edge to it.
Time Machine
Cool electronics open this. The cut has more of that angst and powerful lyrical messages. There are some techno elements at play on this cut, but it still has some prog built into it, too. This is a song all about the glass ceiling and the out-moded ideas behind it. It's timely and potent. The cut is just as powerful as the lyrics are, though. I dig the jazzy interlude later in the piece quite a bit.
User Error
I love the bass that starts this cut. It brings a real jazz kind of vibe to it. The tune grows into more of an electronic art rock kind of piece from there. This cut definitely gets another parental advisory. There is almost a funk groove to some of this tune. It's arguably the most techno cut here, but there are still proggy elements at play, too.
 
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