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April 2018 - Issue 129
Progressive Rock CD Reviews
Xavier Boscher - Embryogenesis
Review by Gary Hill

Xavier Boxcher can always be counted on for some killer progressive rock music. This is a fine example.

Brainticket - Zurich / Lausanne
Review by Gary Hill

This set features two different recordings, one from 1983 and from 1984. It's all instrumental and quite electronic in nature.

Curved Air - Air Conditioning
Review by Gary Hill

This new Curved Air remaster release is classy. The first disc has the original album in its remastered glory along with one bonus track.

Curved Air - Air Cut
Review by Gary Hill

This is a new re-mastered edition of a classic Curved Air disc. The music on this is a great mix of folk prog, psychedelia and more hard driving prog.

Dr. Gonzo & The Cheesy Boys - The Witch
Review by Gary Hill

While this is not necessarily progressive rock in the classic sense, it definitely fits. It's an instrumental set with two epic (the shortest of which is almost 14 minutes long) pieces.

Terry Draper - Once Upon a Memory
Review by Gary Hill

I've been noticing a trend in music lately. When CDs were first released their was a movement to fill up every bit of their additional space.

Jon Durant - Parting Is
Review by Gary Hill

I see this listed as "new age music." I'm not sure that's even still a thing.

Pamela Fleming - Pam Fleming & Fearless Dreamer - Buds
Review by Gary Hill

I've like Pam Fleming and Fearless Dreamer for years. The group consistently produces great music.

Pamela Fleming - Pam Fleming's Dead Zombie Band - DZB Rise and Dance
Review by Gary Hill

I am a big fan of Halloween. For that reason, in my mind, it's never too early to start thinking about Halloween.

Galahad - Seas of Change
Review by Gary Hill

This is an unusual album. The title track is a massive number that clearly qualifies as epic.

The Gardening Club - The Gardening Club
Review by Gary Hill

This is a reissue of an album originally released in 1983. The featured musician here is Martin Springett who wrote the music, but this is a self-titled album by a band called "The Gardening Club."

Jody Giachello - Milennial Kingdom Vol 2
Review by Gary Hill

In Music Street Journal we generally put fusion under the "progressive rock" category. Really the difference between jazz prog and fusion is where the boundary lands in terms of rock versus jazz tendencies.

Gong Expresso - Decadence
Review by Gary Hill

Gong Expresso is a spin off group from Gong. This new CD is an instrumental one that is probably more fusion than it is prog rock.

Green - & Philharmonic Orchestra Hagen - Symphonic Floyd
Review by Gary Hill

This is a cool album. As you might gather from the title, it is comprised of live performances of Pink Floyd music with a symphonic orchestra and choir.

Jim Griffin - To a Far City
Review by Gary Hill

I first heard about Jim Griffin when I reviewed an album from his band Zombie Picnic. Well, this is his new solo album.

Steve Hackett - Wuthering Nights: Live in Birmingham
Review by Gary Hill

While I generally don't include live albums in my "best of the year" lists, I might make an exception for this. It's just such a powerful live set.

Hats off Gentlemen It’s Adequate - Broken but Still Standing
Review by Gary Hill

I've reviewed quite a bit of stuff from this act. This is their newest album. They generally tend to skirt between psychedelia and progressive rock, and this set is no exception to that rule.

Hawkwind - Alien 4
Review by Gary Hill

This a masterpiece of science fiction based space rock. It's hard-edged at times, and mellow at others, like an ebb and flow kind of composition.

Hawkwind - Love in Space
Review by Gary Hill

I'm not sure when this double CD live set was recorded, but the bulk of the material comes from 1995's Alien 4, and it was released in 1996, so that narrows it down.

Hawkwind - The Emergency Broadcast Years: 1994-1997
Review by Gary Hill

The new box set is a five disc collection of previously released Hawkwind albums. Each gets its own cardboard sleeve with the original cover art-work.

Bob Holz - Visions: Coast To Coast Connection
Review by Gary Hill

We generally land fusion under progressive rock. That's because often the line between jazz prog and fusion is all about how much rock is included.

H+ - Hidden Dimensions
Review by Gary Hill

H+ is actually a guy named Malcolm Brian Swan. This new release has some intriguing sounds. 

Dusan Jevtovic - Live at Home
Review by Gary Hill

You can count on Dusan Jevtovic and company to consistently produce killer music. This new live CD is no exception.

Gleb Kolyadin - Gleb Kolyadin
Review by Gary Hill

This is a pretty impressive set. It is progressive rock, with an emphasis on piano, but there is a lot of range here.

KXM - Scatterbrain
Review by Larry Toering
In 2014, KXM debuted with a very hot album, and the follow up (Scatterbrain)  is an even better release. In fact, I included it in my MSJ top 2017 album list.
Last Charge of the Light Horse - Race to the Sound
Review by Gary Hill

This album was a big surprise for me. I reviewed an earlier set from this act, and it was folk music.

Molesome - Dial
Review by Gary Hill

This is an intriguing CD. It's one track that is almost 34 minutes long. This is a reissue of a digital only release.

Neal Morse - Life & Times
Review by Gary Hill

This brand new release from Neal Morse finds him moving from his usual Christian lyrical territory into slice of life stories that seem poignant and personal. Musically he creates sounds that are among the most mainstream and pop-rock based of his career.

Bill Nelson - Chance Encounters in the Garden of Lights
Review by Gary Hill

One always expects something special when you play an album from Bill Nelson. This double CD set is no exception there.

Eva O - The Rise of Eva O
Review by Gary Hill

This is definitely not progressive rock in the traditional sense. It's probably not even rock music.

The Perc Meets the Hidden Gentleman - & The Lavender Orchestra - Praha
Review by Gary Hill

These guys are never the most obvious fit under progressive rock. Still, their spirit of experimentation and adventure is clearly suited to it.

Todd Rundgren - All Sides of the Roxy: May 1978
Review by Gary Hill

The argument could be made that Todd Rundgren is one of the greatest songwriters of the 20th Century. In fact, I'd make that argument.

ScienceNV - The Quest For Prester John, Volume 1
Review by Greg Olma

As a reviewer, I’m exposed to a lot of interesting music; some good, some not so good.  There is so much music coming out that flies under the radar that we (as the music buying public) don’t get exposed to in our normal lives. 

Slivovitz - Liver
Review by Gary Hill

I've always dug this band. Their combination of fusion with pure jazz, King Crimson-like guitar work and more has filled their studio discs with smoking hot instrumental work.

Sonic Sight - Anthropology
Review by Gary Hill

This new album is a concept disc. It's essentially a science fiction tale and quite an interesting one at that.

Sons of Apollo - Psychotic Symphony
Review by Gary Hill

Had I heard this album last year, it would have definitely made my best of 2017 list, and been pretty high on the list. This is an amazing album.

Damo Suzuki & Jelly Planet - Damo Suzuki & Jelly Planet
Review by Gary Hill

Damo Suzuki is best known for his time as the lead singer of Can. His vocal style is clearly unique.

Swunk - Soundscapes
Review by Gary Hill

This instrumental set weaves an intriguing sonic tapestry. While it's overall fusion based, there are elements of pure progressive rock, space rock and much more.

Tautologic - Re:Psychle
Review by Gary Hill

This is an unusual and oddly compelling set. The music lands quite firmly in progressive rock, while the vocals are often more in keeping with weird alternative rock styles.

Tempest - Thirty Little Turns
Review by Gary Hill

It's hard to believe that Lief Sorbye first formed Tempest 30 years ago. This new album is a celebration of that rich history, whether you can believe it or not.

Marius Tilly - Words for the Wilderness
Review by Gary Hill

This is certainly not included under progressive rock in the traditional sense. However, this is literally music that progresses from the norm.

Vantomme - Vegir
Review by Gary Hill

Vantomme is named for its founder Dominique Vantomme. He is a keyboardist, producer and more.

Various Artists - The Stories of H.P. Lovecraft - A Synphonic Collection
Review by Gary Hill

While this set was released several years ago, I've just recently found out about it.

Wishbone Ash - Raw to the Bone
Review by Gary Hill

This is a new two-CD reissue of an older album from Wishbone Ash. The first disc includes the original album with some bonus tracks, while disc two is comprised of some live performances.

Wishbone Ash - Twin Barrels Burning
Review by Gary Hill

This new double CD re-issue features the Twin Barrels Burning disc from Wishbone Ash. The first CD is the original edition with three bonus tracks added to it.

With Bravado - Silent Film
Review by Gary Hill

I won't argue with those who will say that this doesn't fit under progressive rock. There is definitely a lot of alternative rock here along with metal and more.

Zombie Picnic - Rise of a New Ideology
Review by Gary Hill

I reviewed another set from these guys a while back and really liked it. This one is even stronger than that one.

Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews
The Dead Centuries - Race Against Time
Review by Gary Hill

They say that you can't judge a book by its cover. This album goes a long way toward proving that adage.

Judas Priest - Firepower
Review by Mike Korn

In this day and age when it seems like honest rock and heavy metal is withering before our eyes, every new release from a “legacy” band such as Judas Priest becomes more important.

MetalMorphosis - MetalMorphosis Volume 1
Review by Larry Toering
MetalMorphosis Volume 1 is a smash-up of jazz standards and jazz style metal tunes, by three very gifted players who come together for the sheer sake of pushing the boundaries of where old standards can go.
Sam Russell - Impetuous Desire
Review by Gary Hill

If you give this album a listen, you'll surely be impressed by Sam Russell's mastery of the guitar. If you research the man, though, you are likely to be shocked to find out that he has a Masters Degree in Astrophysics.

TDW - The Antithetic Affiliation
Review by Gary Hill

The main person behind this project is a guy named Tom de Wit. He's responsible for the songwriting along with guitars, keys and vocals.

War Gods of the Deep - Robots, Rockets & Rampage
Review by Gary Hill

The easy thing to classify about this EP is that it's heavy metal. Fitting it within the various subgenre is just not something that would be easy to do.

Non-Prog CD Reviews
Agency - Philosophies
Review by Gary Hill

This is quite an interesting set combining soul music with electronic and hip hop in terms of overall sound. Beyond that, though, it leans toward jazz at times.

Mikey AK - No More Freebies
Review by Gary Hill

This hip hop set makes a nice balance between the raps and background music. There is some cool range here.

Alpha Mule - Peripheral Vision
Review by Gary Hill

There has been quite a trend toward roots music in the last decade or so. This act falls into that category.

Amaris - Neon Colors
Review by Gary Hill

There was a time when music was delivered in the form of singles. The whole album concept is relatively new, emerging in the late 1960s.

Bicircular - Black Celebration
Review by Gary Hill

This new disc is a tribute to the Depeche Mode album of the same title. Don't expect a carbon copy of the original, though.

Billion Dollar Babies - First Ever Live Show - Flint 1977
Review by Gary Hill

After Alice Cooper the man and Alice Cooper the band parted ways, the members of the band formed Billion Dollar Babies. They only ever recorded one studio album - Battle Axe.

Joel Madison Blount - Our New Moon
Review by Gary Hill

This disc is full of effective songs. There are a few words that could be used to describe nearly every piece here, including "moody," "atmospheric" and "dreamy."

Broke Royals - The Broke Royals
Review by Gary Hill

Those who like the modern type of pop rock will find plenty to enjoy here. These guys have crafted some catchy and energetic pop songs here.

The Contenders - Laughing with the Reckless
Review by Gary Hill

It's hard to decide if this album is country music or Southern rock. Those lines were always blurry.

The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets - The Dukes of Alhazred
Review by Gary Hill

I've been a big fan of this band for years. Their tongue-in-cheek, H.P. Lovecraft dominated brand of punky hard rock is always fun.

Brian Dunne - Bug Fixes & Performance Improvements
Review by Gary Hill

With the bulk falling somewhere in the country and folk category, this album is built around a lot of Americana. I suppose "singer songwriter" would be the most apt description, but that's only so specific.

Merrell Fankhauser - Tiki Lounge Live
Review by Gary Hill

Merrell Fankhauser is known for his surf and Hawaiian guitar sounds. He's also known for his television show "Tiki Lounge."

Fox Medicine - Greetings from Mars
Review by Gary Hill

I need to get one thing out there right at the start. This release is clearly not for everyone.

Guy Grogan - Purgatorial Hearts
Review by Gary Hill

You can't call this disc predictable. It's also not for people who like music that's fully polished.

Jason Heath and the Greedy Souls - But There's Nowhere to Go
Review by Gary Hill

There is a lot of Americana built into this. I'm reminded of Tom Petty a lot of the time here.

Forrest Hill - ShadowLight
Review by Gary Hill

This album has a pretty good balance between mellower and more powered up pieces. Personally, I think that it could use a bit more range in terms of intensity and tempo, though.

Idiot Grins - State of Health
Review by Gary Hill

This act really has a classic sound. Well, it might be more appropriate to say that they have "classic sounds."

Joe Jermano - Dreaming in Color
Review by Gary Hill

This could almost land under progressive rock. Certainly some of the songs could qualify.

Ranzel X Kendrick - Texas Paintbrush
Review by Gary Hill

This is based heavily on roots music. It's of the stripped down, intimate variety, though.

Lazro and Travis Gibb ft. Kyra B - Take Me Home (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill

I should hate this song. I don't like the whole producer instead of musician concept at all.

Leæther Strip - Æppreciation II
Review by Gary Hill

This is a new album of cover songs by an act whose music lands between electronic and techno sounds. I like some of this quite a bit.

Michelle LeBlanc - A Man Like You
Review by Gary Hill

This EP features five songs that showcase a real passion for traditional country music. Yet there are more modern elements here, too.

Sam Levin - First World Problems (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill

This is a brand new single from Sam Levin. It fits pretty neatly into the alternative rock school of pop rock.

Ajay Mathur - Little Boat
Review by Gary Hill

This album covers ground ranging from folk rock to blues based stuff and psychedelia.

Maxx the Muffin Man - Every Summer Since
Review by Gary Hill

This is an intriguing hip hop album. The musical backdrops are always interesting.

Ali McManus - Unbreakable
Review by Gary Hill

On the one hand, I feel it does the music here a disservice to focus on the health adversities that Ali McManus has faced (and is still living through). In some ways I feel that the music should stand on its own, and it really does.

Nine Beats Collective - Nine Beats to the Bar
Review by Gary Hill

The "Nine Beats" in the title and the name the project refer to the Biblical Beatitudes. Exploration of those is the concept of this album.

Claudia Norris - Nashville Songwriting Sessions
Review by Gary Hill

I reviewed another set from this artist in the past. This new release finds her continuing her musical adventures with five tracks that fit within the general heading of "pop rock" music.

Oddnote - Oddnote
Review by Gary Hill

This is a new band just formed last summer. There are ways you can hear that in the music.

Jarel Portman - Supersonic
Review by Gary Hill

This is quite a cool set. It has some moments that are down- right exceptional. Even the cuts that fall a bit short of that are still pretty darned good.

The Rattles - Live! Hamburg Sounds
Review by Gary Hill

I've never heard of this band before, but apparently they are big in Germany. The stage banter on this album is all in German, but the singing is in English.

Rebel ACA & French Monkey Wrench - African James Bond (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill

This is a brand new single from an act I've not heard before. Based on the strength of this, I'd love to hear more.

Rebel ACA & French Monkey Wrench - John Wayne (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill

When I reviewed the previous single from this act (in this same issue), I said that I'd like to hear more from them. Well, shortly after completing that review I got this opportunity.

Marc Reisman - Strong Way
Review by Gary Hill

There is plenty of familiar sound in the mix here. Classic rock, soul, funk, blues and more all show up here.

Shoot - On the Frontier (colored vinyl)
Review by Gary Hill

Jim McCarty was probably the biggest claim to fame of this group. This band was formed after his work in the Yardbirds and the original version of Renaissance.

Slaughter and the Dogs - Tokyo Dogs
Review by Gary Hill

The concept of doing a track by track review for a punk album is a bit absurd. Still, all Music Street Journal's album reviews are track by track, so here we are.

Karen Souza - Velvet Vault
Review by Gary Hill

The cover might give you the impression that Karen Souza is a jazz torch singer. While some of the music here is definitely jazz, not all of it is.

Michael Tracy - Still Got Soul
Review by Gary Hill

If you are looking for outside of the box, super-creative music, you probably will want to steer clear of this.

Unknown Hero - In My Head
Review by Gary Hill

It would be pretty easy to lump this in with a lot of modern pop music and electronic dance music. Clearly this shares a lot of territory with that kind of sound.

Various Artists - Under What Flag - A Tribute to Fad Gadget
Review by Gary Hill

All of these songs were originally done by Frank Tovey under the name "Fad Gadget." There is quite a range on this performances.

The Vibrators - Past, Present, and Into the Future
Review by Gary Hill

There is a lot of old school rock and roll at the heart of a lot of punk rock. So, it should be no surprise that there is a lot of it here.

Rob Williams - An Hour Before Daylight
Review by Gary Hill

There has been a big resurgence in recent years of roots music. This is definitely in line with that.

Sam Woolf and The Como Brothers - On It (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill

This soulful single does a great job of bringing a modern edge to a retro texture.

Yaysh - Twisted (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill

This is the second single from this artist that I've heard. While I think I prefer the first one, this is clearly strong, too.

DVD/Video Reviews
L.A.M.F. - Live At Bowery Electric DVD
Review by Gary Hill

Walter Lure is the only surviving member of Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers. L.A.M.F. takes its name from the title of their 1977 album.

Donny Osmond - One Night Only! DVD
Review by Gary Hill

I have to confess to liking The Osmonds when I was a kid. I loved their Crazy Horses album. It was before I had learned what was "cool" music and what wasn't.

Pussy Riot - Act & Punishment: The Pussy Riot Trials DVD
Review by Gary Hill

This is quite an interesting documentary. I think the fact that I recently reviewed Free To Rock helped me to appreciate this film even more.

Muddy Waters - Live at Rockpalast DVD/CD set
Review by Gary Hill

This is one heck of a cool set. It includes a performance of Muddy Waters and his band from 1978 on the first DVD and CD. The second DVD and CD is a show from 1996 of the Muddy Waters tribute band (consisting of members of Waters' band).

Interviews
Chris Braide
Interview by Gary Hill

Interview with Chris Braide from 2018

Franck Carducci
Interview by Gary Hill

Interview with Frank Carducci from 2018

Djinn
Interview by Gary Hill

Interview with Bridget Wishart of Djinn from 2018

Jim Griffin
Interview by Gary Hill

Interview with Jim Griffin from 2018

Willie Oteri
Interview by Gary Hill

Interview with Willie Oteri from 2018

RTFact
Interview by Gary Hill

Interview with Yuri Volodarsky of RTFact from 2018

Tempest
Interview by Gary Hill

Interview with Lief Sorbye of Tempest from 2018

Concert Reviews
Marillion - Live in Dallas, Texas February 2018
Review by Greg Olma

I was lucky to catch Marillion back in 2016 on their first run of F.E.A.R. tour dates,so when they decided to come back to the United States for another group of shows, I just had to attend, this time in Dallas.

Book Reviews
Various Artists - The Suite Music World of Gary Hill: Collected Articles Originally Published at Suite101 written by Gary Hill
Review by Greg Olma
This book is not really new material but rather a collection of Gary Hill's articles for a website called “Suite 101."  Some might not like dated material, but I find these types of books enjoyable for a number of reasons. 
 
More Issues
June 2018 - Issue 130
April 2018 - Issue 129
February 2018 - Issue 128
December 2017 - Issue 127
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August 2017 - Issue 125
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December 2016 - Issue 121
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December 2015 - Issue 115
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December 2000 - Issue 0
 
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