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Vinyl Floor

Apogee

Review by Gary Hill

This isn't the best fit under progressive rock. Some of it definitely does not fit under that category at all. The bulk of this has some elements of prog, though. Besides that, I've previously landed these guys under that heading. Whatever you call this, though, it's a cool set. It's tastefully rough around the edges and quirky. It has a lot of everything from punk rock to psychedelia, stoner rock and lots more. It's all delivered in a set that seems to flow really well, and feels like it does a wrap around from end back to beginning. If that's not a prog element, I don't know what is.

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
Ivory Tower
Atmospherics and a voice that's more of a sound bite start this. A noisy yet mellow kind of droning texture serves as the backdrop for the vocals. After the first vocal section it rises up to more rocking elements, but the basic musical concept doesn't change. This is theatrical and dramatic. It does earn a parental advisory. It shifts to some cool melodic prog territory for an instrumental movement further down the road.
Follow Me Down
Harder rocking, there is an almost metal edge to this. Overall, I'd say that this intro makes me think of early Rush. It works out to more of a melodic section that has hints of psychedelia and some early Pink Floyd in the mix. The chorus has metal and punk in the mix. There is an instrumental section with a smoking hot guitar solo that's part 70s hard rock, part prog and more. That movement serves to take the piece to its closing.
Blood Looks Good On You
Drums bring this into being. It launches out from there into more of a mainstream alternative rocker. After this introductory section, they drop back to more psychedelic based mellower alternative rock. There are some hints of shoegaze at times in some of the textures. The cut strikes a good balance between more rocking and more laid back textures. There are some proggier moments further down the road, too. I dig the piano based interlude later.
Monday, Etc.
Less proggy and more of a straight-ahead rock and roller, this has alternative rock and more built into it. It's not far removed from punk rock or power-pop.
Cool, Swirl, Cruel World
Emo and punk are in the driver's seat here. This is another pretty well devoid of prog tendencies.
Eye Thing
While the emo sort of texture is still present here, this gets more into shoegaze territory. It has a lot of psychedelia built into it, too. It's a classy tune that works very well.
Acid & Wine

There is a hard-edged rock and roll texture built into this thing. I can make out both psychedelic and garage band things in the mix on this cut. The hard edged bluesy jam further down the line is all class, too. There is an old school rock and roll bit at the end.

Spoiled Kids
The falsetto vocal on this is unusual. This cut has some definite proggy shifts and changes. Punk and psychedelia are both part of the mix here, too. I can make out some definite hints of power pop, too.
Tidal Waves
Rough around the edges and hard rocking, this has a bit of that bluesy rock vibe to it. That said, there is still a proggy angle to this, particularly in the cool riff driven sections.
Black Magic Revealed
Fast paced and also rocking, this is what you might get if you merged stoner rock with a prog element. The dropped back section definitely brings both psychedelia and prog rock to bear. When it powers out from there the progressive rock is brought home, but with a hard rocking edge. That extended instrumental section really works so well. It eventually takes it to some sound bites that seem to tie this back into the opening of the disc.
 
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