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National Wrecking Company

National Wrecking Company (Reissued Edition)

Review by Gary Hill

This album was actually released early in 2018. It's been reissued with a bonus track that's a preview of the second album. I've included this under progressive rock, but it's definitely not a tight fit. A lot of this has proto-prog built into it. There is some space rock and some real prog here, too. Still, much of it has a blues rock and funk vibe. The fact that Randy Pratt (who was known as "Ambassador Randy" in the alien prog band Star People) is onboard this ship is the piece that shifts the balance to the prog end. It should be noted that the late Bernie Torme (best known for his work in Ozzy Osbourne's band) performs on the bonus track. Whether you land this under prog or not, it is a cool album with some great hard rocking sound built into it.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Supersonic
A bluesy, gritty and rather funky sound drives this thing. It's a screaming hot tune that really does a great job of opening the set in style. There is a cool exploration mid-track that takes it in some intriguing directions.
King of All I See
Here we get more of a screaming hot hard rocking jam. This has some psychedelia in the mix along with some alternative rock and more. It's a powerhouse. I particularly dig the instrumental section in the tune. It works through some cool territory and gets things into some proggy zones.
Beast
Imagine a proto-prog version of early Black Sabbath and you'll have an idea of what this cut sounds like. It's a cut that has metal, prog and psychedelia merged into it. It's fiery hot and bluesy. Deep Purple is a valid comparison in some very real ways. They twist this out into a cool proggy interlude later in the track for a short time.
Molotov
They mellow things out a bit with a rather funky kind of opening movement. The track works out to more of a mid-tempo rocker with an electronic edge. This is another classy tune with a blues rock edge.
Holy Creatures
There is a bit of an AC/DC vibe to this hard rocking cut. Deep Purple and hints of funk and prog are added to the mix. This has some screaming hot stuff built into it. After the three-and-a-half-minute mark they drive things out to a cool jam that eventually ends the piece.
Blood Moon Rising
This comes in with a mellower and rather funky jam that makes me think of Pink Floyd to some degree. The cut works out from there, bringing some Deep Purple to the mix.
Return To Jesus
There is a lot of funk built into this rocker. It has some classy hard rocking sound. Glenn Hughes is a valid comparison to be made on this bluesy rocker.
Praise Yourself
Funky rock and roll is the order of business here, too. This is another tasty cut on a disc that's full of them.
Whirlpool World
Now, the prog concepts are on full display as this cut powers into being. The number has some cool grooves and more of that prog meets metal element. I can hear more of that Black Sabbath kind of sound on this thing. This track lands pretty fully under that progressive rock heading. It has plenty of blues rock built into it, too, but overall this is prog. There are some intriguing shifts and changes. I love the keyboard sounds on the piece. The guitar soloing is pure class, too.
End of Days
I love the rubbery rocking groove of this thing. The guitar brings some psychedelic edge to it.
Bonus Track:
           
Overture/Mechanized Confusion

This powerhouse number is preview of the second album from this band. The cut has some serious metal texture, feeling a lot like Black Sabbath in many ways, at least on the opening section. The cut works out to some space rock kind of stuff from there. Things get a bit more metallic as it carries forward, but I'd still consider this to be space rock oriented even then. There are some sections that feel like a heavier Pink Floyd, too. Bass guitar leads things into a cool funky jam later with some tasty guitar work over the top.

 
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