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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Wishbone Ash


Review by Gary Hill

The second album from Wishbone Ash, most of this is pretty prog-like, but there are a couple straight ahead rockers. The truth is, though – call it rock and roll or call it prog, it’s all good. It should be noted that one of the tracks had already been reviewed on my take on the Best Of CD. So, for sake of consistency that review is used here.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 4 at

Track by Track Review
Vas Dis
Drums start this. As the bass joins we're taken into a fast paced jam. The guitar comes over the top and it gets insistent and rather trippy. The whole thing just rocks like crazy. Non-lyrical vocals are heard that have a  great scat meets Gentle Giant kind of element. The bass guitar just plain screams underneath it. This is so catchy considering that there are no lyrics. Some scorching melodic guitar soloing emerges over the top as this works its way forward. There are definite nods to some particular classical music. This just keeps driving and reinventing itself. There is a drop back section and a bit of a drum solo late in the cut. It rises up for a rocking crescendo from there to end.
The Pilgrim
Starting in a slow prog groove, the piece eventually breaks loose into a fast-paced, guitar-oriented progressive rock instrumental. The song really moves and calls to mind early Steve Howe era Yes. After a time, the tempo slows to a very quirky jam somewhat reminiscent of very early Hawkwind.
Jail Bait
If the title makes you think that this is more of a straight rock and roll song you would be right. This reminds me of The Doors’ “Roadhouse Blues,” but there’s also some hints of the sound of Judas Priest’s first bluesy disc – think “Cheater.” This is some real blues based rock and roll. It isn’t very proggy at all, but it is quite cool.
An intricate guitar based instrumental this is quite cool and perhaps not the most obvious progressive rock piece, but I’d argue it is prog. 
In many ways this doesn’t differ a lot from the track that preceded it, but it’s not a carbon copy, either. This is pretty and tasty and there are some hints of the Beatles at times. 
There’s a definite folk texture to a lot of this, but it’s also got some seriously intricate guitar work and is a great rocker overall.
Where Were You Tomorrow
This is a straight ahead blues rock in a twelve bar format. It’s not prog at all, but still quite tasty.
Jail Bait (Live)
In case the title didn’t give it away this bonus track is a live version of the song we heard earlier.
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