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Progressive Rock CD Reviews



Review by Gary Hill

Describing themselves as “punk progressive rock,” Scribe show off a range of influences that you probably would never picture working together. The thing is, they make it work. It gives them a sound that’s unique. Prog purists will probably shake their heads in disgust, but seriously this is intriguing music. It combines Rush-like prog with stoner rock, emo and a lot of other sounds to create the musical identity that can only be called “Scribe.” For those of you who still have a sense of adventure in your musical heart, this is great stuff.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2008  Volume 4 at

Track by Track Review
Collateral Damage
This is pretty intriguing stuff, right off the bat. It rises up gradually with more ambient elements. They power out into a segment that feels like one part early Black Sabbath and one part King Crimson for the main song structure. We get a jam later in the tune that has a lot of Pink Floyd in it. This is a nearly perfect marriage of progressive rock and old school metal – especially if you throw in some 1970’s hard rock.
Emotional Fuel
They start things here with an instrumental motif that has a bit of Yes in it. This quickly gives way to a more straightforward rock sound that’s almost pure reggae. They also create some Rush-like segments in this piece. When you combine all of those elements into one package it’s easy to see that you’ve probably never heard anything quite like this.

It Never Stops
Here we go with another unusual musical path. The bulk of this track is a slow grind that best fits into the heading of “stoner rock.” They throw in a progressive rock oriented mellower motif later in the track, though. You might even hear some hints of grunge here and there, too. Whatever you call it, though, this is innovative and cool music. We even get some world music inspired acoustic guitar soloing later on.
Five Alive
The sounds of children start this. Then a metallic guitar structure rises up. As they create the verse from this it’s sort of stoner rock meets punk. As they work through on this we get some world music instrumental work over the top. Still later they shift it into something that’s a bit like a grunge take on Rush. These guys seem to really enjoy putting together musical elements that one wouldn’t consider compatible.
Flood Gate
When they lead this instrumental off it’s with a sound that’s more purely in a neo-prog texture. They shift out into more powered up, metallic prog music for a while, but then drop it back down for an intricate and rather sedate prog jam later. You’ll almost certainly make out some Rush on this tune.

Soul Climb
The bass riff driven section that leads this off reminds me of Drama era Yes.  The vocals on this are almost emo in nature, but they just keep inventing and reinventing the music around it. We even gets some rather Smashing Pumpkins like elements in the course of this.
Lost on the Wheel
They begin this a lot like Rush. Combine that with a classic hard rock riff based sound and some emo-like vocals and you’ll have a good idea of what this song is like. Of course, that doesn’t take into account the violin – yes, I’m serious.
Great Divide
Start with an introduction that’s one part Rush and one part fusion. Shift it out to a rather emo-like verse. Then drop it way back to a funky jam that’s rather like the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Add in some Jane’s Addiction, some old school jazz and even a little bluegrass and you have a good idea of what this song sounds like. Yeah, I know – that’s pretty hard to wrap your head around.
The Rush meets fusion concept is definitely a big part of this. They give us a killer funk rock section later that makes you think of the Chili Peppers and the vocals are pretty much emo. That said, we even get some scat singing on this cut.

Funny Tribe
The mold has not been broken. This song shows off a lot of the same influences, but it sits perhaps a bit more firmly in the metal and funk categories. We do get a dissonant Crimson-like jam mid tune.
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