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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Thadeus Gonzalez

Utopian Society

Review by Gary Hill

Although the general label that fits this set is probably just mainstream rock, there is a good amount of variety and range within. This is quite strong, no matter what you call it, though. There is really only one song that just doesn’t do much for me. Beyond that, everything is very good. And, your mileage may vary, any way.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 1 at

Track by Track Review
The Nude Land

This thing pounds out with a smoking hot riff driven sound. It’s part metal, part prog and all rawk and roll. In some ways this reminds me of Motorhead, but with a modern alternative rock edge. This is great stuff.

Your Needle Scratches My Vinyl
After a distant acapella bit, this powers out into more smoking hot hard rock. This is energized, but more melodic than the previous cut. There are drop backs to mellow sounds for the choruses.
Gold Ashes
A more melodic alternative rocker, this is cool stuff. It’s hard edged, and classy. This is a bit more generic than the previous cuts were.
Our Connection
There is a bit of a psychedelic rock edge to this. It’s more of a straightahead rocker, though. This is one of the most accessible and mainstream tunes here, really.
Now, this one is definitely a heavy metal song. It’s quite a meaty one at that, too. It has both classic and modern metal concepts going for it.
Utopian Society
I love the driving riff on the title track. It has a bit of a ZZ Top meets Motorhead vibe to it. It’s another screaming hot piece that works really well.
Change the Locks
This mellow ballad gets a parental advisory. It does get a bit powered up as it moves forward, but still remains in the ballad territory. I guess that’s what’s called a power ballad, but this seems a little mellow to be deserving of that title. There are even some hints of country here.
Absolutely Nothing
There is a lot of punk on the chorus of this rocker. The verses, though, are more in line with alternative rock. This doesn’t work all that well for me. It feels a little awkward at times and just doesn’t grab me.
A more melodic alternative rocker, this is a bit of a power ballad. It’s a step back in the right direction, but not really a standout.
Punk, metal and hard rock merge on this. It’s energetic and works quite well. It’s definitely a screamer.
Collide (Bonus Track)
Hard edged and melodic, this is quite catchy. It’s very effective really, making for a strong closing song.
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