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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

The Hadron Big Bangers

Strange Beauty Decays

Review by Gary Hill

The mix of sounds here is wide. I really love music that combines unlikely things, and this is that. It’s got a lot of psychedelia in it. There is also plenty of hard rock, jazz and much more. There are even some metal elements at play at times. This is an unusual disc. It’s probably not for everyone. If you like your music adventurous, though, you will love this.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 4 at

Track by Track Review
Invocation / Cats

Space music serves as the introduction. There is a short invocation, and the sound of a cat as it launches to the song proper. That’s a rather blues rock based jam that still has plenty of space in the mix. There are hints of the Doors on the vocals. It works out later into a jam that’s part psychedelia, part space rock and all cool. It gets into some territory that makes me think of early Hawkwind later before dropping to some pure psychedelia at the end.

4 2 6 or 25
More of a straight mainstream rocker, this still has a lot of the same elements at play. It’s a cool song.
A Thought
Mellow music with some intriguing bass work serves as the backdrop for a guy talking about “deep thoughts.” It somehow makes me think of Jack Handy.
Pink Sabbath

Trippy ambient music starts this. A spoken voice comes across. Then the atmospherics remain. A riff emerges that really sounds like Black Sabbath. Still, this is not metal. It’s more of a psychedelic rock jam with some stoner music in the mix. I love the spoken words that deliver the lyrics. They remind me a bit of Alice Cooper. They play some games with the speed of the recording of the vocals. This is such a stoner rock turned psychedelic prog number, really. It’s trippy and I love it. It does seem a bit like a cross between early Pink Floyd and Black Sabbath in some ways. In the speedy jam later in the track it gets more into traditional mainstream prog, but there are still bits of psychedelia included. I love the bit of Bill Paxton from Aliens. We get a drop back to the metallic territory after that movement. This is my favorite piece on show here.

Starless Night
Mellower trippy music calls to mind both early Pink Floyd and early King Crimson to me. It gets quite jazzy at times, wandering toward the freeform end of that equation. This instrumental is effective, if understated.
Jazz and space rock seem to merge on this number. Percussion opens it, but it turns toward a really freeform sort of exploration from there.
Here is another jam based on prog, psychedelia, jazz, space and more. It’s quite an effective piece that transitions and expands gradually. This gets quite intense at times and really works out toward some hard rocking stuff later.
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