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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Lo-Fi Resistance

Chalk Lines

Review by Gary Hill

The blend of modern progressive rock and classic is quite cool. There are points when things that don’t seemingly have huge connections, like Hawkind mixed with King’s X or King Crimson merged with Led Zeppelin seems to dominate. There are even some hints of things like R&B and psychedelic music. It’s all merged into a sound that just plain works. This is unique and quite tasty.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Isolation Tank

Atmospheric modern progressive rock mixed with alternative rock makes up the sound here. The vocals are more mainstream rock. In fact, in some ways, the vocals make me think of Jellyfish a bit. There is a killer psychedelic romp at the end of the track.

Chalk Lines
The title track rises up with a bit of space, then twists and turns into an angular and tasty jam that feels a bit like King Crimson does Led Zeppelin. From there, though, it goes to a less riff-driven motif that’s Hawkwind merged with King’s X. That riff section returns for the next section, but somehow this time around it retains some of that King’s X vibe. They take it out to a great melodic movement. There is even a segment later in the track that has some symphonic elements in place. All in all, this is quite a dynamic and diverse ride that works exceptionally well.
Fall

Coming in mellow and based on keyboards, this works out into a pretty mainstream pop rocker. Still, there’s enough psychedelia and prog here to keep it interesting. It’s just pretty catchy. There are some killer instrumental sections here, too. There is a section later in the piece that seems rather R&B inspired. At the end it drops to atmosphere.             

The Silent War
This rises up as modern progressive rock from the onset. While this ride is a pretty straight one, there are enough turns and twists to keep it interesting for progressive rock fans. I really like some of the vocal performances on this, but the music is also particularly noteworthy. It’s not a big change stylistically, but it’s a strong piece of music with its own character and sound.
I Move On
Less than two and a half minutes in length, the vocals opens this. The music here reminds me a lot of Pink Floyd’s Animals album, but the vocals have a more modern prog sound edge to them. They take it to a short noisy section at the end.
Fading Pictures

Keyboards open this in mellow ways and percussion joins quickly. Then the cut rises upwards gradually like something from Porcupine Tree perhaps merged with a bit of atmospheric Radiohead. After a while this turns really heavy, but it’s also quite definitely progressive rock. There are some soaring vocals before it returns to the opening section. There’s a great David Gilmour like guitar solo later in the piece, and the track remains mellow up to and during that solo, but has more layers of sound than on the opening segment. They do shift it out to heavier sounds beyond that point, though and more of those soaring vocals return. Then a killer melodic, hard edged guitar solo is heard. There is a tasty modern prog section that closes this.

No Readmission

Jazzy, melodic space rock opens this and the cut grows gradually from there.  This really does remind me a lot of Porcupine Tree. It has some cool Eastern tones and remains quite mellow and pretty, while working through several dramatic changes.

Face Another Day

Slow moving, atmospheric and pretty, this is another tasty modern progressive rock tune. Then it rises up, after feeling a bit like Pink Floyd for a while, into a harder rocking jam that has some alternative rock, or maybe even grunge in the mix. This moves to more standard (but not run of the mill by any means) progressive rock from there. This cut is accessible, catchy and very cool. A cool keyboard dominated segment takes it into a slow moving section of the piece that is atmospheric and has some great textures. That gives way to a section that feels like video game music before hard edged guitar brings out into something closer to Dream Theater, but with a more symphonic edge. Then more modern prog that’s rather mainstream serves as the backdrop for the next vocal section. There is a parental advisory on the lyrics here and somehow I’m reminded a bit of Pink Floyd again on this. They just keep changing things and eventually work out to a movement that’s closer to some classic progressive rock, Genesis and Yes both come to mind. That jam builds out before it drops to atmospherics. That section takes it out. Weighing it over fourteen minutes, the number is epic in scope and length.

 
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