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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Peter Banks


Review by Gary Hill

I've always loved Peter Banks' guitar work. This album has a lot of great guitar work, but it doesn't stop there. Banks plays everything here, and he weaves an instrumental tale that covers a lot of musical territory. I suppose more often than not it lands under fusion, but it's clearly not limited to even that. I'm doing this both as an individual review, but also as part of a review of the new box set The Self-Contained Trilogy. I believe the original album as an individual set is out of print, but you can get it in the box set, and it's a better bargain that way, anyway.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 4. More information and purchase links can be found at:

Track by Track Review
No Place Like Home
Mellow jazz guitar is the concept here. Banks shows immediately that he really masters the instrument, but still manages to pack this full of nuance.
All Points South

Weird clips start this number, and then some world music vocals enter. The cut works out from there to some ambient weirdness before threatening to start rocking. It rises up with a more rocking fusion kind of sound as it carries forward. There are some soaring world music melodies as this drives forward. Banks puts in some awesome soloing, but it's always in service to the whole song.


As you might guess of a song with this title, the track is a bit ambient and moody. It's a little trippy and quite pretty.

Sticky Wicket

More of an energized fusion based number, this even has some funk built into it. I love some of the tasty guitar work and the varying angles of sound it brings. This is a fun tune. The funky break later includes some little sound clips built into it.

With some sound clips at the start, this works out to some killer fast paced fusion jamming. There is a lot of funk built into this thing.  There are some other bits of soundbites in the mix on this and the cut works through some killer shifts and changes. Banks really showed what an incredible guitar player he was on this number. It even works toward King Crimson-like stuff at some points.
Code Blue
There is an almost electronic music vibe to this cut. It's less intense than the last number, yet there is a drama and a power to it. It again has some sound bites, sometimes becoming a significant part of the musicality of this track. There is some more powerhouse guitar soloing on the tune. This manages to get a little funky as it works forward later.
An odd little sound clip starts this cut. Then some cool jamming ensues. There is definitely an almost Adrian Belew kind of vibe to this thing. Of course, it's all delivered with trademark Peter Banks textures and sounds. While this is high energy and a lot of fun, it drops back for a mellower movement mid-track. This thing works through a number of changes, and it's just so cool. In fact, this is one of my favorites here.
Anima Mundi
There is a bit of a rock and roll vibe to this. It seems to have some rockabilly combined with the blues and a fusion element. This is particularly short, but also quite cool.
Swamp People
The rocking modes that bring this into being have a real King Crimson kind of element to them. The tune has some killer jamming built into it with some hints of funk and more. A fast paced jam later in the track brings some hints of world music and more to this thing.
Instinctive Behaviour.
Fast paced percussion opens this. The cut rises up in a fusion style as it works forward. This is one of the strangest tunes here, but it's also compelling and powerful. It's less than a minute long and serves more as an intro to the next cut.
Dominating Factor
With a definite King Crimson-like vibe, this is a fast paced and energized prog rocker that's very cool.
Never the Same
An extended sound clip starts this number. It grows outward from there in a mellow jazzy kind of way. This mellow tune has a lot of classy melodic guitar work built into it. It is a great way to ground the set before it all ends.


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