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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Spaced Out

Spaced Out

Review by Gary Hill

Spaced Out (Antoine Fafard, Mathieu Bouchard, Martin Maheux, Louis Cote and Eric St.-Jean) have in their debut a solid album showcasing a progressive rock style that is based heartily in the fusion genre. All of the cuts on the album are instrumentals. There are a couple of complaints, though. First, much of the CD has a certain sameness to it, and it takes until the last few numbers for the pieces to differentiate much from one another. The second complaint, a lesser one, is that from time to time the guitar gets a little overboard. Still, as a debut effort this is quite strong.

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Track by Track Review
Green Teeth
A dramatic keyboard flourish starts this one and is followed by a horn fanfare. The cut quickly jumps into gear as a fairly fast-paced fusion number. The guitar soloing certainly carries the piece for quite a while, but it gets just a little heavy-handed at times.
A cool bass line makes up the foundation for this composition, and various instruments seem to fight for control. The piece makes a bit of a turn as the instruments begin to learn how to play together more nicely. Then a new melody ensues for a while, but this one that preceded it returns after a time, and the two of them alternate. A new somewhat staccato melody then enters. All in all, through all of its changes, this is a solid fusion track.
A Freak Az
Atmospheric tones start and guitar riffing comes in. Then the bass joins after a brief time. There is a very brief stop and the melody returns, this time with the whole band pursuing it. This is one of the more dramatic pieces on the album, and the various jamming is quite effective. A false ending heralds a brief interlude of near chaos then the earlier melody returns, becoming a bit Dimeolaish at times. It gets a bit weird from time to time and the group doesn't seem to know when to end it. However, once they decide to call it quits, the outro is an interesting change.

Sedate keys wash out as if across a shore to start this cut. It quickly shifts into high gear as a fast-paced fusion jam dominated by bass. A false stop occurs, and the track is reinvented as a melodic rather balladic fusion composition. The band work within this forum for quite some time, expanding and building on it before jumping out into another frantic segment. That once again gives way to the slower more thoughtful form of fusion. It gets a little chaotic after a time, but then drops to what is one of the tastiest jams on the album.

Delirium Tremens

Coming in dramatic, the whole group enters and this becomes one of the more accessibly grooves on the album. Who would ever have thought that the DT's could be this enjoyable? The cut wanders into weirdness for a time, then a new melody ensues that is dramatic and quite intriguing. This one keeps evolving in very intriguing directions. It is one of the stronger pieces on the CD.

The Fifth Dimension
Another fusion jam, this has a somewhat interesting melody line and some cool dramatic changes. A hard-edged jam takes the piece for a time, and then a pretty and melodic section replaces it. Next a more dramatic segment takes the composition from there.
Pretty and sedate keyboard textures start this one, then a meanderingv guitar comes over the top to begin working a melody line. As the other instruments enter, it is in a dramatic and meaty groove. The bass really steals the show on this one with a great accompanied solo. This is the most effective cut on the album and includes some killer jamming.
Percussion begins this one and I keep expecting to hear Mick Jagger sing, "Please allow me to introduce myself". However, instead of going into "Sympathy For the Devil" an atmospheric mode ensues with percussion basically playing lead as layers of keys wash over the piece.

This one comes in as an atmospheric one, with a bit of weirdness in electronic fashion. After a time of this the band rushes in, and the fusion fury is under way. The cut pursues quite a few changes, including one dramatic section where the bass and drums dance around one another as if stuck. Suddenly whatever was holding them in place releases, and they burst forth into a new melody. This gives way to another jam with the guitar taking the forefront at first, then tangling with the bass. This one is another high point of the CD.

"Glassosphere" begins in an intricate and pretty manner and follows that path for a time. It crescendos then starts reworking the number. The bass plays the same section, but much faster, and the other instruments build on the themes. Next a new segment ensues, one with a lot of drama and style. The cut keeps growing by expanding on its themes rather than by taking U-turns. This is another killer piece.
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