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The Kiss That Took A Trip

Garlands

Review by Gary Hill

This is quite a ride. It's most often focused on something between trippy space rock  and alternative. That lands in the same zone as shoegaze, and it definitely gets into that territory. I'm sure progressive rock purists will argue with it landing under prog, but honestly, the genre has evolved over the years, and this is one modern branch of that fertile tree. Whatever you call this, though, it's quite interesting and entertaining.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Copernicus
Cool old-school sounding keyboards begin this. As it fades out a guitar texture rises upward. Bass comes in with a rather prominent line. Drums join as the number continues to build outward. As the vocals join the cut takes on a cool trippy sound. There is a dreamy sort of quality here with definite hints of 80s music in the mix.
Comedian Mum
There is a bit of a raw edge as this piece starts. The cut works out to a killer jam that's jazzy, psychedelic and definitely prog rock oriented. There are some vocal on this, but they are pretty far down in the mix. That said they do get a bit further up in the mix further down the musical road, but are non-lyrical. The cut gets some crunch built into it later. There is a real freeform sense of spontaneity built into this cut.
Whoever Hurt You Has My Sympathy
This cut comes in a bit noisy, but it works out to more of a trippy, dreamy kind of proggy texture. There are some sound-bites of a woman talking in the piece. After a while it works out to more of a melodic, driving modern prog jam with pretty standard vocals. This is such classy stuff. In fact, this is one of the best pieces of the set. After that section the spoken bit returns and she is a lot more upset. The cut earns parental advisories for that part.
3 Year Flu
The sound of medical equipment beeping opens this track. Eventually some guitar rises up. As the other elements join in a fairly mellow arrangement, there are some unusual sonic choices that can be a bit unsettling. There is a trippy, dream-like quality to the piece, landing it near space rock zones. It works out into a more 80s-like musical zone beyond that section, but drifts into spacey territory to end.
The Hays Code
This instrumental is quite a cool journey. It focuses on the spacey and trippy early in its run. It gets more powered up and rocking further down the road, with some fuzzy guitar added to the mix. Space rock and psychedelia are all over this thing. The closing section definitely takes us into noisy, droning shoegaze zones. That part takes up a lot of this piece, running from around the six-minute mark until it segues into the next song after the nine-minute mark.
Grimoire
Coming out of the previous piece, this is slow moving, dark and spacey. It's incredibly trippy. The vocals add to that effect as does a mournful horn. The moody number makes for a strong, if understated, closing to the set.
 
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