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June 2019 - Issue 136
Progressive Rock CD Reviews
Alters - Dawn
Review by Gary Hill

This new set has a lot of variety. There are things that are pretty crazy, and it gets downright noisy.

Alya - Ten Years of Solitude
Review by Gary Hill

Do I think this is progressive rock? Maybe it is.

Be-Bop Deluxe - Sunburnt Finish
Review by Gary Hill

This is a brand new two-CD edition of Be-Bop Deluxe's Sunburnt Finish album. The first CD is a new master of the original album.

Roland Buehlmann - Crucial
Review by Gary Hill

This is an instrumental album that's a bit hard to pin down. Parts are fusion oriented. 

Citizen K - Second Thoughts
Review by Gary Hill

This is a retro review of a disc from Citizen K. I reviewed the act's newest disc recently, making it a good idea to have a look at this double disc set.

DarWin - Origin Of Species
Review by Gary Hill

This is a concept album, but I'm not really clear on the concept. I do know that it opens and closes in the same place, after taking a ride across two CDs.

A Death Cinematic - Cagliostro
Review by Gary Hill

This is a bizarre, and particularly cool album. It's clearly a unique experience.

Dig Two Graves - Deathwish
Review by Gary Hill

I've landed this under progressive rock. I'm sure that's going to upset some prog purists.

Terry Draper - In My Garden
Review by Gary Hill

The latest album from Terry Draper of Klaatu fame, much of this feels as if it could have been released under that band name. There is a wide range of stuff here.

Dream Theater - Distance Over Time
Review by Greg Olma

Dream Theater has been releasing records for 30 years now, and I’m happy to say that while there has never been a bad Dream Theater album, this new one is one that I would rank towards the top. 

Jon Durant - Alternate Landscapes
Review by Gary Hill

I put the last set from Jon Durant that I reviewed under progressive rock, and I think this one belongs there, too. This is restrained and slowly moving music.

Exit North - Book of Romance and Dust
Review by Gary Hill

I've landed this under progressive rock to a large degree because it's so hard to pin down in terms of style. The music here is very slow moving and moody.

GEA - Snow
Review by Gary Hill

I put a previous set from this act under progressive rock. At the time I talked about how that wasn't a perfect fit, but it seemed the appropriate one.

Paul K - The Fermi Paradox
Review by Gary Hill

For those who don't know, the Fermi Paradox refers to the apparent contradiction between the lack of evidence of intelligent life in the universe and the mathematical likelihood that it must exist.

Chris Lastovicka - Fortune Has Turned (Remixed)
Review by Gary Hill

This is not progressive rock. It is, however, progressive music.

Patrick Moraz - Out in the Sun
Review by Gary Hill

The first solo album from Patrick Moraz, The Story of i (also reviewed in this issue), was released in 1976 as part of a group effort from members of Yes to release solo albums.  

Patrick Moraz - The Story of i: Remastered Edition
Review by Gary Hill

The first solo album from Patrick Moraz, this is getting a cool remastered edition. This features two bonus tracks and restored art.

Alan Parsons - The Secret
Review by Larry Toering
The Secret by Alan Parsons is an album you don’t want to pass up, as it has everything there is to be expected by any fan and more.
Pavlov's Dog - Prodigal Dreamer
Review by Gary Hill

This new album from Pavlov's Dog comes about eight years after the last one. This is most often folk prog, but there are other genre represented here and there throughout.

ProAge - MPD
Review by Gary Hill

This is an intriguing set from a Polish act that is unique. I dig the blend of hard-edged metallic sound with more pure prog.

Renaissance - A Song for All Seasons (Three-Disc Special Edition)
Review by Gary Hill

This new remastered release is so classy. Not only do you get a remastered version of the original album, but it comes with several bonus tracks.

The Residents - The Big Bubble
Review by Gary Hill

The third (although it's called the fourth in the trilogy) in a planned series of albums from The Residents, this is my favorite of the three. It's much more vocal based (in fact, only one track is sans vocals), but the vocals are strange.

The Residents - The Mark of the Mole
Review by Gary Hill
When this was released in 1981 it was to be part of an ambitious project, the Mole Trilogy. It was to be an epic tale of two colliding cultures told through a series of albums.
The Residents - The Mole Show Live At The Roxy, 1982
Review by Gary Hill

This, as you can probably gather, is a live album from 1982. The Residents are captured in all their weirdness and in fine form.

The Residents - The Residents' Mole Box
Review by Gary Hill

This new box set is really great. Over the course of several years in the 1980s The Residents set out to record and release a multi-album concept project.

The Residents - The Tunes of Two Cities
Review by Gary Hill

The second album of a planned series that were intended to work as an extensive concept work, this is a bit more accessible than its predecessor. There is definitely more jazz in the mix, too.

Shob - Solide
Review by Gary Hill

This is the second disc from this outfit that I've reviewed. The brand of fusion is potent and intriguing.

Steeleye Span - All Things Are Quite Silent: Complete Recordings 1970-1971
Review by Gary Hill

This new box set features three full albums from Steeleye Span. It comes in a nice clamshell box and includes an impressive booklet.

Steeleye Span - Hark! The Village Wait
Review by Gary Hill

The first album from Steeleye Span, this was released in 1970. It's perhaps more acoustic and traditionally driven than the discs that followed it.

Steeleye Span - Please to See the King
Review by Gary Hill

This is Steeleye Span's second disc, released in 1971. As much as I enjoy the first album, I'd say that this one elevates things a bit.

Steeleye Span - Ten Man Mop Or Mr. Reservoir Butler Rides Again
Review by Gary Hill

Steeleye Span's third album, this was released in 1971 (and was their second release that year). I think this is proggier than the first two.

Third Ear Band - Alchemy
Review by Gary Hill

I previously reviewed another set from this act, and this is a new reissue with all kinds of cool bonus material. These guys aren't progressive rock, but they are proto prog.

3rd Ear Experience - 3rd Ear Experience with Dr Space - Ear to Space
Review by Gary Hill

This was a disc I was pre-determined to enjoy. I like space music, a lot.

Joan Torres's All Is Fused - Revolution
Review by Gary Hill

We generally land fusion under progressive rock at Music Street Journal. There are a number of reasons for that. First, most progressive fanatics also like fusion.

Nik Turner - The Final Frontier
Review by Gary Hill

The latest disc from Hawkwind founder Nik Turner, this has some definite links to the sound of that band. The space rock drives this, but it's not the only game in town either.

The Two's - Push On
Review by Gary Hill

If you just listen to the first song here, you won't understand why I landed this set under progressive rock. Stepping past that one, though, there is a prog angle on every single track.

Gary Wilson - The King of Endicott
Review by Gary Hill

Gary Wilson is a unique musician. He's not progressive rock in the traditional sense, but his music is experimental enough to fit there.

Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews
Månegarm - Fornaldarsagor
Review by Mike Korn
In Europe, heavy metal is looked upon as another way to connect to the past. There are tons of bands whose focus is paying tribute to the pagan cultures of old Europe, particularly the Vikings.
Queensrÿche - The Verdict
Review by Greg Olma

It is hard to believe that it has been six years since Todd La Torre’s first release fronting Queensrÿche.  I have been a fan since the EP back in 1983, and when they replaced Geoff Tate, I thought that it was all over for them. 

Tank - Re-ignition
Review by Gary Hill

There is a good reason the songs on this disc feel very much in line with old-school metal. These are modern versions of Tank songs from the 80s.

Thor - Hammer of Justice
Review by Gary Hill

This new CD from Thor comes with a documentary on DVD. The music on the CD has a good range between old-school metal and punk driven sound.

Warrior - Warrior II
Review by Gary Hill

There are a couple points that need to be made clear right off the bat here. First off, this isn't precisely heavy metal.

Non-Prog CD Reviews
D.G. Adams - Nest of Vipers
Review by Gary Hill

D.G. Adams is a singer-songwriter, and this is his latest set. His sound most often lands in the neighborhood of folk rock, but there are exceptions to that rule.

Annamay - F*ck You
Review by Gary Hill

This is an album that's a bit hard to pin down. The musical references seem to come from all over the place.

Benny Bassett - Words For Yesterday
Review by Gary Hill

This is quite an entertaining set. There is a lot of country music in the mix.

Paul Bronson - Solitude
Review by Gary Hill

This CD is a solo guitar EP from a musician from my local area. Every piece here was recorded in one take, with no overdubs and just one guitar.

Michael Bruner - Don't Mean Broken (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill

The new single from Michael Bruner, this is an entertaining and intriguing piece.  It is likely to pique listeners' interest enough to make them dig into Bruner's catalog a bit.

The Byrds - Byrds
Review by Gary Hill

This 1973 album is being presented in a great remastered CD version here. The sound of this album ranges from bluegrass-driven to more mainstream rocking.

CALVERT - This Beautiful Life, Vol. 1
Review by Gary Hill

In order to properly review this, I should talk a bit about music, and particularly the trend in a lot of modern pop. Looking to the sonic art form, the creation of it is a very human experience.

Charlie Christmas - Weird Old Man
Review by Gary Hill

This is quite a refreshing and entertaining set. It's well rooted in the music of the 60s and early 70s. Yet there is also a modern freshness to it in some ways.

Doug Collins and the Receptionists - Good Sad News
Review by Gary Hill

You really only have to look at the cover to realize that this set will be retro-styled. You'd be right making that assumption.

Ren Daversa - Saltwater
Review by Gary Hill

This new disc finds Ren Daversa demonstrating her talents as both a singer and songwriter. The music lands in the general zone of soft pop rock, but there is some range here.

Grönholm and Small - Head Funk
Review by Gary Hill

I've previously reviewed a couple discs from Grönholm. Here guitarist Mika Grönholm joins forces with singer Lee Small.

Heathcote Hill - Save The Ones You Love
Review by Gary Hill

Fans of mainstream rock inspired by folk and country should give this new set a try. The five songs contained here all work well.

Highest Intention - Universal Light
Review by Gary Hill

I am a big fan of reggae music. So, I'm kind of a natural to become a fan of something like this.

Gary Hoey - Neon Highway Blues
Review by Gary Hill

This new album from guitar hero Gary Hoey, as the title suggests, is a bluesy one. Not everything here is set in the blues, but most of it is.

Humble Pie - Joint Effort
Review by Gary Hill

This is a long lost album from Humble Pie. It had been rejected by the group's label, and the music has been sitting in the vaults since 1975. T

Becky Kapell - That Certain Ache
Review by Gary Hill

If you like old-school country music, this set is definitely for you. Not everything feels like it could have been released in the 40s or 50s, but most of it does.

Kind Country - Hard Times
Review by Gary Hill

These guys are billed as a bluegrass act, but that's only so accurate. Don't get me wrong, bluegrass is a big part of what they do, and it permeates everything here.

King Prawn - The Fabulous New Sounds Of
Review by Gary Hill

I have been digging this band for quite a few years now. This new album is a fine entry into their catalog.

Krigarè - Take On Me (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill

The song "Take On Me" was a single from the band A-Ha, and the video really got it lots of exposure on MTV when it was first released.

Lillimure - Something (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill

This new single is pretty intriguing stuff. The first instinct might be to think of it is a retro, jazz affair. There is a lot of that here.

Todd Warner Moore - Love & Change
Review by Gary Hill

I reviewed a previous set from this artist. I liked that one a lot, but thought that perhaps a few songs could have been pulled from the disc to make it stronger.

Erich Mrak - Fake It (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill

Erich Mrak is working toward an ambitious goal. He's releasing a new single every month.

Django Reinhardt - Diminishing Blackness: The Compositions Of Django Reinhardt
Review by Gary Hill

It's hard to imagine a musical world without the legacy of Django Reinhardt. He has created such a huge, and lasting, influence on many genre. 

Saint Mars - Love Ghost (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill

So much modern music is overproduced to the point of feeling "fake." I doubt anyone will accuse this song of that.

Sponge - Demoed in Detroit 1997-98
Review by Gary Hill

This disc is quite strong. There are a couple tunes that don't work as well for me, but overall, this is effective.

StrangeJuice - Raising Cannibals
Review by Gary Hill

This release is entertaining and quite cool. It's also hard to pin down in terms of style.

Les Techno - Guilty Pleasure (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill

Here we have a new single from Les Techno. His style of music is always hard to pin down, and this cut is no exception to that rule.

Robin Trower - Coming Closer to the Day
Review by Gary Hill

I've been a fan of Robin Trower since the 70s. For my money, the classic album from him is Bridge of Sighs, and that era is his best.

Katy Vernon - Suit of Hearts
Review by Gary Hill

It's not easy to pin a label on this music. There is quite a bit of range here.

Voyce Memos - Catching Me in Stride
Review by Gary Hill

It might be easy to think you've entered a time warp when listening to this album. This set would have been quite at home in the 1980s.

Reese Wynans - And Friends - Sweet Release
Review by Gary Hill

You might not recognize Reese Wynans' name, but he's been the keyboardist on so many records during his 50-plus year career.

Robbie Z - Hot Wheelz (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill

This is at its core a hip hop song. There are definitely trappings of both electronica and pop music here, though.

DVD/Video Reviews
Dickey Betts & Great Southern - Live at Rockpalast 1978 and 2008 2 DVD/3 CD Set
Review by Gary Hill

There was another version of this released previously, at least to some degree as "30 Years Of Southern Rock." The way that release was done was a double DVD set with the two shows.

Jack Bruce - Live At Rockpalast 1980, 1983 And 1990 2 DVD/5 CD Set
Review by Gary Hill

This is an amazing set. It starts off with two DVDs featuring three shows from the German TV show "Rockpalast." Then they add in five audio CDs with the music from those three shows.

Paul Butterfield - Paul Butterfield Band - Live At Rockpalast 1978 DVD/CD Set
Review by Gary Hill

This was previously released as two different things. There was a DVD titled "Rockpalast: Blues Rock Legends, Vol. 2 - Paul Butterfield DVD" and an audio CD titled "Rockpalast: Blues Rock Legends."

Jorma Kaukonen - And Vital Parts - Live At Rockpalast 1980 DVD and 2 CD Set
Review by Gary Hill

I previously reviewed an earlier release of this titled "West Coast Legends Vol. 2." That one was just a single CD from the show.

Todd Rundgren - Todd Rundgren's Utopia - Blu-Ray, DVD and 2 CD Set
Review by Gary Hill

In 2018 Todd Rungren's Utopia reunited. Three original members (Rundgren, Willie Wilcox and Kasim Sulton) were joined by keyboardist Gil Assayas.

Interviews
HOIA
Interview by Gary Hill

Interview with Prateek Rajagopal aka HOIA from 2019

Bob Holz
Interview by Gary Hill

Interview with Bob Holz from 2019

Shumaun
Interview by Gary Hill

Interview with Shumaun from 2019

 
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