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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Dudley Saunders

The Emergency Lane

Review by Gary Hill

I know, I know – many of you will say this isn’t progressive rock. Well, the majority of the disc shares a lot of musical territory with Porcupine Tree, so I’m going to include this there. I can certainly see the argument either way, though. Overall this is basically a combination of folk music, country music and Porcupine Tree meets Radiohead. It’s an intriguing and unique melange. It should be noted, that the lyrics tend to be a bit vulgar and sometimes quite offensive.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 2 at

Track by Track Review
Look for Me
This opens on acoustic guitar and we get a vaguely jazz-like singer songwriter approach. It grows out into more neo-prog territory after a verse and I can hear country music meets Porcupine Tree and Radiohead. As this is built upwards as the track continues that prog rock element becomes more pronounced. It gets quite powerful before it ends.
Love Song for Jeffrey Dahmer
What can you say about that title? I’m thinking it’s best left alone. This has a folk sort of number, but there are those same Porcupine Tree and Radiohead musical concepts here as it grows upward. The lyrics are suitably twisted and if they don’t make you cringe at times, you need to seek professional help.
The Rain On 8th Avenue
The same blend of sounds is present here, but this is mellower with a ballad that has a string arrangement motif here.
Take Me Back Home Again
A bouncy little cut, this is certainly more pure rockabilly than anything else we’ve heard so far is. Yet there are some prog elements in the form of almost King Crimson-like textures over the top later. 
Bad Driver
Here’s another cut where the general formula isn’t all that different. The truth is, though, this music has enough diverse influences that more of the same is still pretty interesting. 
Mushy-Headed Kid
This is mellower yet and perhaps even more blatantly Porcupine Tree-like. It’s one of the stronger cuts. 
Side of Sane
Saunders rocks it out a bit more here, but the formula is starting to wear just a little thin. That said there’s a bit of a Captain Beyond-like sound on this at times that’s a nice touch. 
Jesus Didn't Love Us Enough
This is closer to the rockabilly side of things and the lyrics are not for those who are faint of heart. 
The Winding Sheet
Here is a cut that’s almost pure folk-like country music. It’s not proggy at all, but it’s a strong piece of music. 
Bina's Radio
We’re back into more proggy territory here with a cut that seems to combine Chris Isaak with Porcupine Tree. 
The Wild Men
This is a nearly pure folk tune. It reminds me perhaps of something from The Strawbs, but I can hear other folk artists here, too. That said there are some neo-prog based overlayers. It’s delicate and quite pretty. 
This changes everything. Well, not completely, but this is one of the most unique pieces on the disc. It’s far more in a pure neo-prog motif – again like Porcupine Tree. There are still folk influences here, but it’s also got a healthy dosage of electronica – at least in the early portions. This is one of the most involved cuts on show. It’s also one of my favorites. 
The Wagoner's Lad
Saunders closes this disc with a countrified, folky acapella number. It’s a nice touch, but I don’t think I would have ended the CD with it.
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