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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Longshot

Asylum

Review by Josh Turner

As soon as I heard that Longshot had a sequel, I sought treatment. Once this registered offender against all that’s discordant and bland was released, I had no choice but to voluntarily lock myself into musical rehab. When counseling commenced, its serially eccentric behaviors became readily apparent. During the melodic process, I encountered many strange acts from the deviant overture to the crazy kaserei encountered at the end. Altogether, its quirks cured my ailment: a terrible syndrome that goes by the name of boredom. My psyche was so weary and enervated, my synapses were in traction. Thanks to these salutary tracks, I finally had a sound mind.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Asylum Overture
Marbles are conveniently lost the instant admission papers are endorsed. This is radically different from those therapies instituted in their last clinic. To be honest, it’s as if the music has gone on a bender or taken LSD. Kaleidoscopic rock worked for The Beatles, because that change in artistic direction was immediately accepted by flocks of faithful intelligentsia. Only this time it’s neo-aggressively trippy with a syrupy layer of psychedelic synthesizers sousing this mix. As the famous Hannibals would say, I love it when a plan comes together especially when it’s served with psychosomatic mushrooms and a side of fava beans.
The Deleted File
This goes to prove that withdrawal can be cathartic. It’s doubtlessly the darkest of their remedial pieces. What’s found in the manila dossier is scandalous even by Longshot’s standards. I’m ashamed to say I like it very much. Those who aren’t predisposed to this ditty’s addictive shtick could very well be in denial.
Miracle Man
Temporarily refraining from cultish conduct, this hasher strides over to the water stop for a short break. What’s ironic is that, succinct for this typically drawn-out cast, it only nearly reaches the five minute mark. This formulaic robot is along the lines of the redundantly poppy recourses submitted by Genesis and Styx. But their unconventional songwriter, Michael Reese, doesn’t sell out. Once this refresher is over, he’s on the lamb again. With great distances separating one station from the next, the interns of this dissociative loony bin have virtually no chance of catching up to him. Then again, the clattery, daft guild he belongs to is like a drinking club with a running problem.
The Ballad of Peter Blackfrog
The presence of this song explains a lot. A long, long time ago, I heard this chary cut. Unable to tell lies and thinking it was a hallucination, I repressed all thoughts about it. Now that I know it’s real, I’m overwhelmed with the potential of spawning new musings to erase my mistaken amnesia. My first resuscitated thought is that it sounds like nothing I’ve heard before; beyond those cherished fragments of partial recall. The adjectives it summons today are smart, elegant, gratifying, tidy, and tight. While I’m happy to be reacquainted with this beloved timepiece, you too will find tangible value in its classical senilities. It’s unforgettable in every way and goes to show that I wasn’t imagining things like my realization that Tasmanian Devils and Gremlins do exist.
Endless
Some albums use up precious space with an overuse of pauses and whole notes. Five songs in, there doesn’t seem to be a bottom to this symphonic abyss. Like a dream, I don’t mind falling deeper into this floorless chamber. After the kind of nutty laughter that would make Syd Barrett cringe, the pace quickens whilst time signatures blur.
Welcome to the Mind Surgery Clinic
More effective than an eternal spotlight on a spotless subconscious, this excision wipes the slate clean. As if no preconceived notion of what’s come before; this does much of the same. In other words, nothing’s new but you wouldn’t know it.
Armageddon
After so much expressive mania, the downfall is somewhat anticlimactic. Even though the end of it all is not what it’s cracked up to be, the album really has no weak link. Captured and cordoned off, this sapient cut rides off into the sunset without a lot of kicking of screaming. If you’re already crashing from the analeptic cocktail obligatorily taken when checking out of quarantine, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The successor to the bacterial experience is best suited for germaphobes and neophytes. Unless you’re goosey or going progressively insane, it would be an utter shame to pass on the alimental antigens administered at this sonant sanatorium.
 
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