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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Guy Grogan

Purgatorial Hearts

Review by Gary Hill

You can't call this disc predictable. It's also not for people who like music that's fully polished. All that out of the way, there is some interesting music here. It runs the range from the Beatles to Smashing Pumpkins, power pop and Radiohead. You might not like everything here, but I'll bet you'll find something you'll enjoy.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 2 at

Track by Track Review
I'm the One I Couldn't Be

With a bit of a punky edge, this is built around an old school rock and roll sound. It feels a lot like something The Beatles might have done in the early days of the band. It's energetic and fun. There is a weird little drop down movement mid-track that seem to take away from the magic of the piece, too. From there it builds out to sort of a folk song arrangement from there. It makes it feel like two different songs. When that section powers back out to some seriously rocking stuff, it works much better, though.

Tell Me Your Name Again

Speaking of punk, there is a lot of punk rock built into this cut. I suppose the best definition is power-pop. It's a great tune. I'd consider it one of the highlights of the disc.

That Beautiful Away
This is an odd, but intriguing cut. Parts of it remind me of Radiohead's "Creep." Other parts take it to an almost art rock style. While it's not mainstream at all, there are some catchy elements. There are some other things that make me think of the Beatles a little, too.
Our Time
Another punky cut, this is interesting and entertaining. It's one of the more effective pieces here to my ears.
Because You

High energy and punky, this is another smoking hot tune.

A mellow number, this more like a folk based ballad.
If We Only
Punk and old school rock combine to create this catchy rocker.
Holding Out
This mellower cut is another that makes me think of Radiohead a bit. It's an intriguing number. While it's understated, it's one of my favorites. I think the intricate and sedate sound of the cut works really well.
When Like a Glass Tide
Some tastefully odd piano opens this cut. It works out from there to a rocker that makes me think of Elvis Costello a bit. It drops back to the piano later in the cut for an intriguing interlude. The guitar accompanies and eventually the vocals return amidst this new arrangement. In terms of song construction, this makes me think of ”I'm the One I Couldn't Be," but it works better here.
Never Understand
This is another powered up punky styled tune. It works pretty well in terms of energy and vibe.
A Better Rain
More like "Holding Out," this is another intricate mellow tune. It's moody and another of the highlights. When it works out to more of a powered up arrangement I'm again reminded of Radiohead quite a bit.
And All of Your Days
A high energy, punky rocker, this is a killer tune. It's almost heavy metal. There are moments when it makes me think of Guns N' Roses. Yet, I can hear some Smashing Pumpkins in the mix at other points.


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